Quantcast

Long, Strange Trip

Looking back at CMS's tumultuous year



For CMS, this past year has been part soap opera, part Jerry Springer what with the half dozen protests, budget cuts, and a changing of minds—it’s Harding! No, we meant Waddell! It’s so confusing we’re still shaking our heads. A look at how the drama unfolded this year.

MARCH

03/10 CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman says school closings are only a worst-case option and are not part of the plan to slash up to $65 million from the district’s 2010-11 budget.

MAY

05/18 Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones releases a budget proposal recommending a staggering $81.1 million in cuts to county services including—you guessed it—$21.3 million in cuts to CMS.

JUNE

06/02 The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education announces a comprehensive review of the district, aka cuts, and potentially the
closing of schools.

6/04 County commissioners agree to revise sales tax projections to restore $6 million of the proposed cuts to CMS. The next day, Gorman says the district will still lay off 530 teachers and other instructors.

06/21-28 CMS holds open community forums, welcoming public input on the review process. Conveniently, parents are given little notice, most of the forums are during the day, and many families are away on summer vacations.

06/29 The board ranks thirteen priorities—from student achievement to capping home-school enrollment—to help CMS officials draft options for 2011-12 budget changes.

06/30 Offering a sneak peek into his money-saving strategy, Gorman states reassuringly that he won’t take “the easy way” when closing at least ten schools in the 2011-2012 school year.

JULY

07/01 A new state budget—complete with a must-fill $4.1 billion gap due to school construction—reinforces the need to cut into CMS operations.

07/27 Gotcha! The board decides to start over with its list of thirteen priorities.

SEPTEMBER

09/07 CMS announces “change” is on its way for thirty-two schools.

09/09 CMS ups its list to thirty-seven schools. The board meets to discuss closings and consolidations.

09/14 The board votes on the district’s 2010-11 budget, bracing itself for a $79 million cut. Later, CMS finds out it only needs to implement a $59 million reduction thanks to final state and county allotments. (Looks like some teachers get their jobs back.)

09/28 CMS proposes to close about ten schools and make huge “changes” in twenty-five others.

09/29 CMS picks twelve schools for possible closure.

OCTOBER

10/04 Six schools fall off the list of schools expecting “change.” Not knowing what they’re getting themselves into, board members schedule a series of public hearings.

10/11 The state kindly asks the district to prepare for up to 15 percent cuts (between $30 million and $90 million in reductions).

10/12 During a CMS public forum, a large protest erupts from west-side school supporters. Two are arrested, including NAACP President Kojo Nantambu.

10/16 Hundreds march in an uptown rally, also protesting the closings of CMS schools like Waddell High.

10/25 Looks like the protests worked—CMS announces Harding University High will replace Waddell High on the closings list.

10/29 For the first time in his tenure, Gorman does not unveil new programs during his annual State of the Schools address. You see, new programs cost money.

NOVEMBER

11/02 Villa Heights Elementary parents join the protests, complaining that a move to Lincoln Heights Elementary exposes their children to harmful air pollution from I-77.

11/03 After some rowdy meetings, the board takes a deep breath as it holds its fifteenth and final public forum.

11/07 CMS board member Trent Merchant e-mails the board, asking to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the “Waddell-Harding-Smith-Berry-South Meck” decision. Because, you know, putting off tough decisions always makes them easier.

11/08 Psych! CMS staff pulls Harding off the closings list, changing the magnet school into a neighborhood school. Waddell High gets put back on.

11/09 The board elects to go on with the vote, and in a five-four decision votes to close Waddell along with ten other ill-fated schools. Maximum annual savings? $6 million.

DECEMBER

12/07 Gorman says “this is only the tip of the iceberg … there is going to be more consternation.” Up next: as much as $100 million in cuts from the state. Here we go again.

More »Related Stories

The Story of Charlotte, Part 1: 'Parcel of Blockheads'

After a long ride down from Pennsylvania, a rough and tough group of Scots-Irish settlers just wants to be left alone. But British landowners who own the deeds to Mecklenburg County won’t let that happen

The DWI Checkpoint

Where good nights go bad

Around Towns: Concord

Where racing lives, shopping happens, The Avett Brothers grew, and the mayor knows everybody

The Knights Come Home

After 10 years of court cases, after a series of complicated land swaps, after two decades floundering away as the South Carolina baseball team with the Charlotte name, the Knights are home. And the pressure is on to make it all worthwhile

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Blogs »


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

'Moral Movies' Series Launches in Charlotte, Other N.C. Cities

A Wilmington nonprofit launches a statewide film series to highlight education and economic issues. Tonight: 'American Teacher.'

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Bachelorette Auction, Drex and Maney’s Party with Aloe Blacc, PlayDate Charlotte, Passport For Fashion, and More April 24-27

Charlotte’s social scene is jam packed with events over the next few days.

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/23/14): Gillian Welch, PostSecret, Othello, & Lady Antebellum

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

5 Great DIY Projects

Home renovations, gardening tips, and a backyard bash to inspire your creative side

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Food (Truck) Fights

New rules could hurt the industry

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Charlotte Magazine Cover Shoot Featured in Matrimony Video

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Apply for a Grant from Keep Charlotte Beautiful

The committee will award $5,000 for projects that make lasting impacts

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Agenda 21 Derangement

How a wild conspiracy theory lassoes mainstream Republicans, Pat McCrory included.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

New Favorite Spring Side

Highlighting spring vegetables should be the highlight of your day, especially when its this

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

A busy week in Charlotte craft beer with events by VBGB, JJ's Red Hots/Triple C, Custom Home Pubs/Unknown, Olde Mecklenburg and Birdsong

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

McCrory's Coal Ash Proposal: All Sizes Fit One

Gov. McCrory's proposed coal ash legislation sounds like a strong step toward forcing Duke Energy to clean the stuff up. It's not. Here's why.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Spring Feasts

Ham, matzah, lamb, potatoes, and eggs, oh my. Passover kicked off Monday and Easter is coming up, so I've got a meal plan ready for you if you've put it off till now.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Coming This Fall: RockSalt

Owner Travis Croxton on his new space at Park Road Shopping Center, his family's oyster farm, and his love of Price's Chicken Coop

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Matthews Market Opens for Spring this Saturday

After a snowy winter and early spring cold snap, farmers and customers are eager to return

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Nightlife News: Sydney’s Martini and Wine Bar Opens, Rebranding Leads to 3 Trade, and Dharma Lounge Prepares to Close

Keep up with the changing landscape in Charlotte’s nightlife scene.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Charlotte’s first growler fill store to open this summer

Located in SouthEnd, The Beer Growler will have 45 taps

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Springtime Events, ‘Illmatic’ Tribute Party, Cigars and Stilettos, Oak Room’s First Anniversary, and More April 17-20

The days leading up to Easter are quite eventful in Charlotte. Your social itinerary awaits.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Carowinds in Bloom

The springtime festival continues through the weekend with flowers, cooking demos, and craft beer

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Sow Much Good

Providing fresh produce and farm goods to those in urban deserts, Sow Much Good has reopened

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/16/14): Blue Man Group, Springsteen, & Local Natives

Comments