Voters throughout Mecklenburg County, in addition to selecting local, county and public school board members, will weigh in this election on a $922 million Charlotte Mecklenburg School Bond referendum.
The Towns of Huntersville and Cornelius, along with the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, have all voiced their opposition to the bonds which provides the North Mecklenburg area with very little if any new school infrastructure over the next decade.
In a written statement, the Lake Norman Chamber Board of Directors said:
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has always advocated for strong support of our local elementary and secondary educational systems, believing that the foundation for any healthy regional economic engine includes a robust school system.
With that in mind, while the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors encourages multiple lines of thinking when it comes to financing our ongoing and growing educational infrastructure and physical plant needs, we are opposed to the current $922MM bond referendum before the voters in Mecklenburg County this November.
The rubric used to determine school priority and the analysis of what defines classroom overcrowding do not address either the current or ongoing needs of our North Mecklenburg communities and students.
Since 1995, I have lived in the Town of Huntersville, whose population in 1990 was just over 3,000 citizens. Today, we have a community of 61,800 citizens and it is projected to increase to 84,000 by 2030.
It does not seem that long ago that current CMS District #1 Board Member Rhonda Lennon, then a concerned parent with the grassroots organization called FUME, and I drove down to a CMS Board Meeting, speaking out for a new high school to be built in North Mecklenburg. North Mecklenburg High School at the time had the largest enrollment of students in the state. While new schools have since been built, mobile classrooms still adorn our school grounds and our classroom space has fallen dramatically behind our pace of growth.
Twenty years ago, our school officials seemed to be totally out of sync with the growth taking place in the north corridor – or worse did not care. It has been pointed out that North Mecklenburg received significant support in the previous school bond, but for many of us – that was simply attempting to catch Huntersville, Davidson, and Cornelius up to the two decades of neglect.
When it comes to adequate road and school infrastructure, the Lake Region seems to always get short changed in the minds of many business and community leaders.
It is likely that the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Bond will be approved but it clearly does not benefit children throughout the county – namely those in our community.
When you vote this election cycle, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce urges you to VOTE NO on the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Bond.
Education is the foundation of our economic and business development. It is the cornerstone of our quality of life and what makes any community a great place to live and operate a business.
However, as business leaders, we cannot in good conscience, go along with a plan that does not address the needs of ALL of our children. Those students deserve more and quite simply, we can do better. The Lake Norman Chamber hopes you agree. Vote NO on the CMS Bonds!
President & CEO
Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce