Town of Huntersville could join House Bill 514

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Commissioners from the town of Huntersville plan to discuss House Bill 514 at its Monday night meeting.

That bill would allow the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill to split from Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) and create their own charter school district.

Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla is a proponent of the bill and wants the town of Huntersville to be part of it.

"It gives another option for municipalities that you live in," Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla said. "To create a school system."

The mayor says there are many charter schools in the Huntersville area that have waiting lists. He believes that shows there is a demand for charter schools in the town.

He is also bothered the Northern part of the county was left out of CMS' recent $922 million bond referendum.

He thought his area should have had more projects on the list.  He says he questioned the school district about it.

"We didn't have a good response from CMS," the mayor said. "In addition we had several of our school projects that were jumped ahead of. That is disconcerting."

The mayor says those are some of the reasons why he wants to join House Bill 514. He says if approved, Huntersville would only enact the bill if the town feels CMS is not listening their concerns.

CMS School Board member Rhonda Cheek represents the Huntersville area.  She is concerned if the town joins House Bill 514, there would be no community involvement. She is now targeting bill sponsor Bill Brawley.

Cheek sent this statement about Brawley and her concerns about a lack of community involvement.

"Bill Brawley helped pass the legislation in 2012 that created the I-77 tolls without engaging the community. Since then, Brawley argued against HB 954 (2016 bill to kill the toll road project) and voted against it. Without engaging North Meck community. Brawley has unapologetically led the fight to bring public-private partnerships to North Meck with I-77 tolls and Now seeks to do the same thing for education. Again without engaging the community. I'm shocked that the elected officials in the Northern Towns would think partnering with Bill Brawley without any community engagement again is a worthy idea. Our community should be very fearful of Brawley's efforts to toll our kids' education."

WBTV reached out to Brawley for comment but he has not returned calls.

Aneralla says if his colleagues say yes to join House Bill 514, a call will be made to Brawley to add Huntersville to the bill.  This has to be done before the General Assembly returns back to work on May 16.

The Town of Cornelius could also talk about House Bill 514 at its Monday night meeting. Town commissioners could end up joining the bill.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.