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Superintendent Clark Misleading the Public


cmsIf Ann Clark, Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, advocates teaching to same standards as she writes, the voters and taxpayers may be assured children are finishing school with no understanding of truth or accuracy.

Ms. Clark writes in the Charlotte Observer’s ‘For the Record‘ about the funding CMS gets from the county. She writes, “…the Board of County Commissioners, which voted to provide CMS with $13.9 million of its $39.9 million request for additional county funding for 2015-2016” is “disappointing budget news”. She goes on to say “With only one third of our county budget request approved and a requirement to pass through an additional $8 million to charter schools next year, it will be very difficult to address these challenging realities next school year.” WHAT is she talking about?

This year CMS asked for $428 million, as compared to the $388 million they got last year. The BOCC approved $402 million. That is 104% of last year’s budget and 94 percent of the request, not one third, as Ms. Clark says. Of course she might say she meant one third of the additional money requested. To which I say, “do you let students explain away their errors by saying, oh, my bad?” No, Ms. Clark intentionally misleads the public in collusion, I might add, with the editors of the Charlotte Observer, who have not corrected her misleading statement.

As an aside, the taxpayer might note that this budget is about $9,100 per student. For a classroom of 22 students that is $200,200. Since the teacher gets about $50,000 of that, we might ask of Ms. Clark, why is administration so expensive?

Further, the pass through to charter schools Ms. Clark complains about is exactly that, a pass through. It is a method of accounting for charter school students. If CMS didn’t pass the money to the charter schools, CMS still would never get the money: the money follows the student. Since the student is not attending CMS, CMS wouldn’t get the money for them anyway. So what, exactly, is she whining about? Does it cost so much time to write a few checks? No, Ms. Clark is, again, trying to mislead the public. Let me go on.

Ms. Clark tells us that 40% of the students are not reading on grade level. She also tells us that the graduation rate is 85.1%. Does that mean about half the students who graduate aren’t reading on grade level? That would tell us why CPCC has so many students in remedial courses. Basically they are taking high school courses again before the students are allowed into college level courses. So what is Ms. Clark bragging about with this 85%: they graduate but can’t read or continue to the next level without help? Is that really something to brag about?

I could go on, and on, and on. But why? If the CMS School Board allows this type thinking to dominate the bureaucracy that works for them, one can only expect the students to suffer from an inferior education. No amount of money will fix that.

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