MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - House Bill 514 may have possibly reached another snag. Officials are trying to answer the question: Is the bill a public or local bill? If it is a public bill - Governor Roy Cooper must sign it into law. Cooper has spoken against the controversial bill.
If the bill passes the General Assembly, the towns of Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, and Huntersville could create their own charter school districts. Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) says the bill is bad.
Leaders say it will raise taxes, create less diverse schools, and not give students many educational options. CMS hired a consultant, Gerry Cohen, to review the bill. He has more than 30 years' experience dealing with North Carolina legislation. Cohen released a report identifying problems with House Bill 514. It was called the Cohen Report - now he has released Cohen Report 2.0.
The problem is he thinks House Bill 514 should be a public bill, not a local bill. He says it deals with the teacher. The original bill had teachers will be employees of the individual towns and not eligible to participate in the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System.
Recently, lawmakers from the Senate Education Committee made an amendment to allow teachers to enroll in the state retirement system. Cohen believes that amendment is not good enough. He thinks teachers enrolling in the state plan requires the bill to be a public bill.
CMS agrees. The district has reached out to the State Treasurer's Office about this matter and we are told that office agrees with Cohen. WBTV has reached out to the State Treasurer's Office for a comment - still waiting for a response.
If the bill is a public bill, CMS is hopeful the Governor will veto the bill and the bill will die. WBTV has been told there is not enough support in the House to override the Governor's veto.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on House Bill 514 Monday evening.