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Black Political Caucus holds event to answer questions related to CMS funding concerns

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the funding feud continues between Mecklenburg County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, community leaders are hoping to keep the public informed.

Charlene Henderson had two children go through the district.

She says her now-20-year-old son struggled, often finding it hard to connect with lessons and his teachers.

“He was like, ‘Mom they’re teaching us stuff that I don’t care about, it doesn’t connect with me,” she said.

Henderson said her 8-year-old granddaughter is also having a similar problem.

She said the learning gap in the district has been a problem for years.

“These issues have been there for a long time. We are now just getting acclimated,” Henderson said.

To address the education gap in CMS, Mecklenburg County leaders have proposed a controversial move.

They want to withhold $56 million dollars in the budget from the district until they can provide a plan to address the issues.

County Manager Dena Diorio claims this won’t hurt students.

CMS says it will.

“We are disappointed that Mecklenburg County has proposed denying approximately 16 percent of our local funding request. This denial would adversely affect our students and staff,” Thelma Byers-Bailey, Vice Chair CMS Board of Education, said during Sunday’s event.

With the education gap in CMS affecting students of color, particularly Black boys, the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg hosted a “Q&A Session.”

The goal of the event was to answer questions within the Black community.

Students of color are performing below the average and behind in college readiness across the district.

Henderson said the change starts by holding officials accountable, and then to the classroom.

“They have to learn how to connect with the children and teach them, have a learning skill applicable to them,” she said. “If a kid is not up to standard, they’re going to act out, be the class clown.”

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