What is the district’s biggest challenge, and how would you address it?
Mecklenburg County experiences unprecedented growth, fastest in the nation, for many years in a row, with no sign of slowing. There are 2,100 homes going in at Providence and 485, with no high school between Providence and Ardrey Kell. We lack time, or money, for the next 80 acre, $100 million, 15 year construction project, and must think creatively; if Elevation Church can upfit a big box, and charters function in office buildings, we need to think outside our comfort zone to meet needs. At the same time, students performing at 20% proficiency are an academic emergency demanding immediate focused action, including confrontation of problems outside the school walls. If parents will not accept personal responsibility for their child’s education, we will face a steep and possibly insurmountable hurdle. CMS is in competition for students every day, in a limited budget environment, with unlimited charters and vouchers, and if all those who can leave do so, the result may be fiscally unsustainable at 80% poverty or higher.