CMS, Mecklenburg County reportedly reach agreement over $56 million funding dispute


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Mecklenburg County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have reportedly reached an agreement in the dispute over $56 million in funding in the county’s 2022 budget, sources tell FOX 46 Charlotte.

While details of the agreement weren’t immediately available, the plan is still to be approved and voted on Wednesday night by the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners.

The dispute between the school district and the county began in May 2021 when Mecklenburg County commissioners introduced a proposed budget that withheld $56 million from CMS until the district presented a strategic plan to end educational disparities within the district.

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“The board was clear that the status quo at CMS was unacceptable, and that the community deserves better when it comes to educating our children,” County Manager Dena Diorio said. “They charged me with thinking creatively as to how performance and funding can be linked.” 

County leaders want a strategic plan from CMS that targets four components including improving performance at 42 low-performing schools, improving performance scores and grades, and ensuring that at least 75% of students within all demographics graduate with at least one state endorsement by the end of the 2024 school year. 

“This priority not only links budget allocations to strategies and targets to improve college and career readiness outcomes for all students but also improves transparency and accountability and how county funds are used to improve student outcomes,” said Diorio.

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CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston expressed his opposition to the county’s decision.

“To say I understand the county’s position is to mischaracterize my sentiment,” Winston said. “I do not understand how increased student needs don’t translate into additional support from everyone who has a stake in the success of children.” 

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 5 p.m.

FOX 46 Charlotte will provide updates on the agreement as they become available.

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