CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — After weeks of controversy and hours of school board debate Tuesday, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education approved the redistricting tied to the southern relief schools.
Draft 3 of the plan passed in its current form, 7-2. Two amendments introduced by board members Summer Nunn and Jennifer De Le Jara were shot down.
The new lines stem from a new high school being built to relieve Ardrey Kell, South Meck, and Myers Park, and a new middle school coming in the Ballantyne area.
Those who voted against the proposal included Lisa Cline, and Summer Nunn who offered up an amendment that was shot down which would have seen a reduction in feeder pattern splits involving Enhaven Elementary.
Board member de la Jara also offered up an amendment that was shot down, which involved changes to the Myers Park feeder patterns.
Prior to Tuesday’s vote, parents and students, who were a large majority of those impacted at Polo Ridge and Myers Park areas, made their last-minute plea to adopt the draft but with amendments.
Roughly 118 Myers Park area families have spent weeks asking the board to allow their students to attend Myers Park as a high school, as opposed to being assigned to South Meck High School.
Their argument has been their child has spent years attending the schools that touch the Myers Park HS campus, and that they should be allowed to attend there.
School leaders voted against those requests citing that the data shows that it would lead to higher utilization of the classrooms that are already overcrowded.
The new high school on Community House Road won’t open until the 2024-25 school year, and the middle school likely the year after.
There have been protests leading up to Tuesday’s vote for families who want their children to stay in the districts feeding into Myers Park High School.
Polo Ridge parents and students who attended, who were largely families of immigrants, shared their fear that their children would be fed into the two relief schools for both middle and high school which would not have the steady infrastructure that an already existing school would have.
Also in attendance on Tuesday were families who agreed with the board’s vote and who said that this is the best mixture of the various drafts to address the rising risk students have begun to face while learning on top of one another in overcrowded classrooms.
Board member Stephanie Sneed stressed to the crowd of sign-wielding parents and students, before the vote, “Perfection cannot be the enemy of progress.”
Now that the proposal has passed, legacy students can decide if they would like to attend their future feeder school or stay at their current school until the switch.
Other transition details are expected to be released to families in the following days.