Chamber Of Commerce Says No To Bonds!


Chamber Says No, Click Here

Full Text:

Vote NO on the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Bond Package

Logo VertVoters 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 ALLof 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!

Bill Russell
President & CEO
Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce

Informative Article From Jim Puckett, County Commissioner

A letter of Opinion from Jim Puckett, County Commissioner

Published in the Charlotte Post.


Anyone unhappy with the current state of public education needs to know voting for the bond package is tantamount to enabling the dysfunction to continue.

In a similar vein if you are defaulting to the opinion of elected leadership remember the easiest vote any politician will ever make is to support school bonds. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Chamber will laud you, media will praise your progressiveness and inclusivity, and both ends of the political swamp will praise your selflessness in reaching across the aisle in the name of education and spending other people’s money.

Liberals will join conservatives to claim fiscal responsibility saying bonds don’t raise taxes (but they don’t tell you they might).  Lost among the glitz, glamour and kumbaya of building schools is the reality that buildings don’t teach children.  But doing something, even if it is wasteful and mismanaged eases the guilt of failing the most at risk, for those familiar with the term, a classic example of “bread and circuses.”

There are real needs in our schools and I and others stand ready to make immediate investments where immediate needs reside while we develop a reality based plan with clear cut objectives. CMS has allowed valuable assets to rot and fall into disrepair yet seek to replace them with no change in the method of maintaining them. They blur reality using an ill-conceived rubric that scores half empty schools as full. Most sad of all is the idea of spending/wasting nearly $150 million in magnet schools to allow parents to “escape” from failing schools with no plan on how to fix those failures and no plan for the kids whose disengaged parents leave them on the sinking ships.

This bond denies new capacity to high growth communities for a decade in what I fear is a clear sign of future paired schools and controlled choice as the method to handle the unavoidable overcrowding as a result.  And once committed the nearly billion dollars and the hundreds of millions wasted will relegate any real reforms to second place.

For over two decades we have tried very new fad to come down the pike pouring billions into forced and voluntary bussing, controlled choice, midpoint, K-8, magnet, paired, high tech, low tech, voc tech schools  yet the most vulnerable continue to get lost in the shuffle. While many parents are placated with shiny and new, kids still can’t read, and the board of education still can’t articulate a long-term assignment plan that offers stability and a chance to focus on core challenges.  Perhaps the reason we are at the bottom in upward mobility is because mobility is all we focus on when it comes to education.  We continue to find new ways to move kids around without really figuring out how to teach them where they are.

So let the BOE know YOU are paying attention by getting THEIR attention the only way they will notice, at the ballot box. When they finally decide on a long term assignment plan that the community can bank on, when they get the teachers with the needed talent into the places where it is needed, when they have a maintenance program that will keep your investment from rotting out from under them, when they build schools where people live not where they wish they would live, when they seriously deal with failing schools rather than try to redistribute failing kids Then you will open your pockets and fund those plans.

Or you can keep handing over the money and kidding yourselves into believing something will change. As both a politician and a businessman I know this to be fact: Once you hand over the money your leverage is gone.  I beg you not to join those willing to do the easy thing. Say no and then demand we do the right thing.

Jim Puckett is a Mecklenburg County commissioner.


Click here for the Story from The Charlotte Post

Read this meme from Charles Jeter

Now you are going to see this a lot with folks saying North Mecklenburg got about 26 percent of these bonds over this period.

Well, note the other districts and which ones got the majority of the remaining 74 percent.  Also if you go into the actual numbers you will see that a large part of the 26 percent to District 1 went to the schools closer in Charlotte.  But hey they love just showing a chart and hoping we do not know what it means.

Anyway, they also say North Mecklenburg ONLY pays a solid 11 percent of total taxes.  Making you think they are getting a great deal on schools up in one of the most growing parts of Mecklenburg County.  Wow, so we are so uninformed to know that means 11 percent each year over 15 years on average.  With a billion and a half budget that means 110 million a year for 15 years or over a billion and a half from North Mecklenburg.

No wonder folks are tired of throwing money at a system that keeps getting worse and worse.  Hey so 95 percent of the grads who applied to CPCC had to take remedial courses, that is good as CPCC is getting a share of all these billions we vote in every year or so.

Newest Billions Needed!

Please help CMS educate kids, all it takes is this new round of billions or billion, who knows, all we do know is that more and more money is needed.

Please do not visit this site

And do not go to this site.

When will we reach the magic billion, and kids learn.

This is the start of the new round of billion dollar needs from CMS.

Each time they promise this billion will get children learning and our 50 percent proficiency rate will be a thing of the past.

The fact is the only time they listen about our concerns with what has been wasted so far, is when they run for office and want the next billion.

Vote No On Bonds.