Disparity in CMS' per pupil expenditure

Published: Jan. 18, 2011 at 10:52 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM EST
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By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In has been revealed Charlotte - Mecklenburg school (CMS) district spends more money on students depending on the zip code of the school.

CMS spends more than $10,000 per student at Thomasboro Elementary School (which is located in the inner city) opposed to elementary schools in the well to do suburbs.  Students at Torrence Creek Elementary school gets more than half the amount than students at Thomasboro.

School board member Rhonda Lennon represents Torrence Creek elementary and is concerned about the disparity.

"Making sure we get the dollars we need," Lennon said.  "To keep our numbers strong, to keep our academics strong - that's got to be the focus."

Lennon says she has poor students in her district too, but they don't get the same level of financial support like other schools.

"You got schools like Hopewell, Mallard Creek and North Meck in my backyard," the school board member said.  "And they are showing excellent return on investment. They're not getting a lot of money. I would rather get great return on investment and get a little more money."

The District one school board member says she will bring this issue up during budget talks.

"This is a county wide budget crisis," Lennon said.  "This is a county wide school system. The budget cuts need to be county wide."

CMS gives about $50 million more to poorer schools, but superintendent Peter Gorman has recommended to cut the funding to help balance a potential $100 million budget gap.

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