Behind the scenes of CMS school board, Matthews commissioners meeting over HB 514
MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - Sources say there have been some interesting things happening behind the scenes concerning talks with Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) Board members and Town of Matthews commissioners. It all centers around House Bill 514.
The sponsor of House Bill 514 is Representative Bill Brawley. If approved, the bill would allow Matthews to create their own Charter School District. CMS leaders opposed that bill and wanted town commissioners to withdraw their support.
Thursday, Matthews leaders rejected CMS' request and said a majority of the commissioners will continue to back House Bill 514.
Sources now say moves were made to force a compromise. We are told school board members were told if they didn't support a candidate running for state office against Brawley in an upcoming election, the bill would go away. Sources also say board members were told if they fired Charles Jeter - who used to be a state politician but now works for CMS - the bill would go away.
Sources say the school district was shocked at that kind of talk and say it proves House Bill 514 is all about politics and not about improving students' education.
WBTV received a text message a CMS school board member sent to Matthews Commissioner John Urban. Urban says he thought the text was threatening.
Here is an excerpt from that text: "However if 514 goes through then we will proceed as separate systems and prepare for you all to enroll and educate Matthews students...if it is signed we are expecting you all to deliver schools quickly so that we can reassess plans for the area."
On Friday, that school board member received a voicemail message from political strategist Lawrence Shaheen. He told the school board member he was disappointed with that text and said he would find somebody to oppose her when she is up for reelection.
Matthews Mayor Paul Bailey says that since town commissioners rejected CMS' offer, he has received emails from parents who are backing the town commissioners' decision to continue to support House Bill 514 and others who are questioning the commissioners' decision.
WBTV has reached out to Brawley and is waiting for a response.
Matthews commissioners will officially vote on their support for House Bill 514 at their Monday night meeting.
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