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CMS discusses making schools more diverse
Posted: Oct 15, 2015 4:03 PM EDT
By Dedrick Russell

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS) policy committee tackled the district’s controversial student assignment plan. The last time the district made sweeping changes to it was about five years ago.

The committee met Thursday at the Government Center to discuss how the plan can be improved in order to provide a quality education for all children. Diversity was one of the topics of discussion.

Some people who showed up for the meeting are interested in that topic. They believe the current student assignment plan is lacking and doesn’t focus enough on diversity.

“There is no requirement or consideration,” One Meck Carol Sawyer said. “Of the socio-economic composition of school in today’s pupil assignment. It’s strictly based on proximity.”

Sawyer says that it would be nice if CMS would make schools more diverse. That includes a mixture of students with various racial and socio-economic status. That could involve putting students on buses and having them take a long rides to get to school.

Sawyers think there is a way around that.

“You don’t necessarily have to create a massive busing program,” Sawyer said. “To break up pockets of poverty and wealth. There are lots of techniques to reintegrate a school – to me it’s morally objectionable to have the socio-economic segregation we are inflicting on children.”

School Board member Tom Tate is chairperson of the policy committee. Tate tells WBTV the committee has its work cut out to make schools mirror the county.

“What we know is high concentration of poverty doesn’t work very well for education,” Tate said “It is much harder to educate kids – it’s not impossible.”

The chairperson believes his committee must do the heavy lifting.

“We have to look into all these issues,” Tate said. “Regardless if we have the means to do it, or the will to do it, or think it’s even possible to do it. We need to look at it or we haven’t done our job.”

The committee will send out a survey to the community to get their thoughts on the importance of diversity. The full board will also take this matter up before any decisions are made.

The next policy committee is November 12.