School boundary battles are brewing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Right now, a school boundary battle is brewing across Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

CMS leaders have recently been discussing plans in the works for the new E. E. Waddell High School. The full magnet school is supposed to open in Southwest Charlotte for the 2022-2023 school year.

But parents say proposed plans now call into question the future of several other schools across South Charlotte.

Families at South Mecklenburg and Myers Park High school feel like they’re being punished. They worry everyone involved might end up losing something if these plans go through.

The proposed plans could mean taking away a staple program at South Mecklenburg High school; its world language program.

“Students even outside of the magnet can take advantage of taking language classes, so it really is a huge benefit of our school,” said parent Staci McBride. “They’ll lose that opportunity.”

The proposal would move the world language program to the new Waddell High school instead.

Families – likes McBride’s were expecting that opportunity for their kids throughout high school.

The ‘option’ of moving her kids to the new Waddell high school, if the program is moved there, isn’t that simple in either she said.

“Because it [Waddell] will be a much smaller school, they’re going to lose access to a broad array of AP classes… not to mention, sports.”

The changes don’t stop there. Myers Park families are also impacted by these plans.

“We all make choices about where we live because that impacts where our students go to school, our kids go to school and people have made personal decisions about that,” said McBride. “Its not just an impact to South [Mecklenburg] as a school.”

CMS says by removing the language program at South Meck, it would then backfill those open seats at South Meck with students from Myers Park to help Myers Park with overcrowding.

Feeder patterns at schools including Carmel Middle, Sharon and Olde Providence Elementary school would shift under the plans. McBride said parents are asking the CMS board not to rush these plans, especially with student boundary reassignments on the horizon.

McBride and other parents say another reason to refrain from rushing any decision, is keeping in mind a new high school CMS expects to build in the Ballantyne area, slated to open in 2024. That new high school would again, shift feeder and boundary patterns.

“A win for everyone would be for them to take a step back… slow down a little bit and consider what’s the best for CMS.”

The CMS board plans to talk over the plans at its Tuesday, May 25 board meeting. No vote is happening just yet.

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