The Charlotte NAACP has come out against an effort launched last week to split Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools into three districts, calling it a racist ploy to separate urban and suburban schools (read the statement here).
A group of north and south suburban residents launched a petition drive last week, hoping to persuade state legislators to create three new school districts. Their proposed "central district" would encompass the territory inside the I-485 loop, which includes a swath of schools where most students are from African American or Hispanic low-income families.
"Public education is designed to uplift and to help all of our children not just a chosen few but all," the NAACP statement says. "Splitting up CMS will only guarantee one thing that is the poor will be more
neglected and more thoroughly disenfranchised."
As of Wednesday evening, the online petition had 235 signatures, with a goal of 10,000.
Update on the battle of the bells: Vice Chair Mary McCray says she and Amelia Stinson-Wesley, the newly appointed District 6 representative, are trying to set up a meeting between CMS transportation staff and parents unhappy with late hours. It's unclear, though, whether McCray is willing to ask interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh to revise the 2012-13 schedule of opening and dismissal times he announced recently.
Parents have been lobbying the board for a change, saying the later bell schedule introduced this year cut into time for homework, after-school activities and family togetherness. Hattabaugh has said the later hours let buses make an extra run, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"I don't understand all the intricacies that go along with the bell schedule and feeder areas," said McCray, who was elected in November. "My hope is we can come to some amicable agreement and a better understanding of why the district has done this."