Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

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There are two dates that loom large for parents, teachers, students and administrators in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first is August 14, the self-imposed deadline for the General Assembly to agree on a state budget. The second, just 10 days later, is the first day of school.

Without a set budget, schools have a hard time planning for the academic year and they may have to start cutting programs now just in case. As for the budget negotiations, they're not going so well. At least not yet.

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

These CMS employees make sure their schools are ready when students arrive; encourage and admonish them as needed; are on the scene during emergencies and help coordinate after-school events. And no, they’re not teachers but the schools’ janitors who are in the running for a national award.

Parents Say Charter School Closing Was Short Notice

Sep 19, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

Friday was the last day of school for about 120 students at a charter school in east Charlotte. It's closing its doors less than three weeks after opening because of financial troubles. Parents will now have to figure out where to send their children next week.


FILE: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board of education.
Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system is still in the process of reviewing its discipline policies to determine why minority students are far more likely to get suspended.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, African-American students are 5.5 times more likely than white students to receive out-of-school suspensions. Hispanic students are 2.6 more likely to get suspended. Students with disabilities also get suspended at a higher rate. 

That’s all according to a report CMS staff and various community agencies presented to the school board in April.

A November referendum to raise Mecklenburg County’s sales tax a quarter of a cent has yet to get support from a big booster:  the Charlotte Chamber.  The Chamber says it’s not against the purpose of the increase:  using the generated money to pay for raises for CMS employees and to help prop up the area’s struggling arts and science centers. Rather, it says more discussion is needed on finding specific funding options. So, the Chamber is staying out of the referendum debate. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Dumont Clarke, a referendum supporter, says a Chamber-funded campaign would have helped pass the sales tax hike, but he remains confident.


There is a lot going on with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, to say the least. The state will open 11 new charter schools in August and 26 next year. There’s a new reading law and many third graders in the state may have to go to summer reading camps. Union County is looking to redistrict hundreds of students. Common Core standards and digital learning are transforming what kids learn and how they learn it. State's school report cards are due for release this week, and CMS has yet to release its long-promised school data reports. And much more. Two of the city’s education reporters join us to share updates on everything going on with CMS.

CMS high school students may find a bunch of incompletes on their report cards when they get them back in a couple weeks.  It’s not their fault.  State exams will delay some first semester grades.  

High school students are taking several new state exams this week.  They’re designed to measure how much teachers get their students to learn.  To make sure kids take them seriously, the tests count for 20 percent of a student’s grade. 

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools expects to have 5,000 third-graders qualify for reading camps this summer as a result of the state's new third grade reading requirement. District officials worry state money won't come close to covering the cost of these camps.  They’re asking the state for flexibility on the camps, as well as all the tests that come with the new third grade reading law. 


Teachers did not get a raise this year, but state lawmakers have set aside bonuses for the top 25 percent of teachers next year.  It’s up to school districts to figure out who those teachers are -- and that’s no easy task. 


CMS fourth and eighth graders are performing about the same in math and reading as they were two years ago, according to the National Assessment of Education Progress.  The tests have been given to a sample of students across the country since 2003.  At a time when state tests are drastically changing, these scores provide a way to compare student performance from year to year. 

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