For the record, I support all the various educational opportunities our children have available in Matthews – public, private, parochial, and home schooling.
However, when our Board voted 4-3 to endorse HB 514 last year, the town’s relationship with CMS deteriorated to a new low. HB 514 allows Matthews to operate municipal charter school(s), but does not obligate us to do so. I did not vote to support the bill for a number of reasons:
- I correctly anticipated retaliatory measures from CMS who now state all future capital funding will be appropriated to projects located outside of the towns included within the provisions of HB 514.
- Supporting two separate school systems would mean our citizens would be taxed twice for the same service. I believe the inevitable consequence of having Matthews enter the charter school business will be an increase in your taxes.
- A Matthews municipal charter school would be much less diversely populated than our current CMS schools. Real life is diverse, and I believe our schools should reflect that fact.
- There has been zero public vetting to date to see if our community supports municipal charter schools. The overwhelming majority of CMS parents I speak to are satisfied with the education their children receive in our public schools. Both of my children as well as my wife and I attended CMS and we believe we received outstanding educations there.
When elected, I will push for a well-publicized public inquiry (meeting, survey, referendum, etc.) regarding whether or not our community supports Matthews now or ever entering the municipal charter school business. I will work hard to re-establish a collaborative working relationship with CMS. When all is said and done, it is our children’s education that is most important, and they lose when elected officials quarrel for extended periods over issues that can and should be resolved with a reasonable give and take from both sides.
What Can You Do?
Make sure you get out to vote on November 5th but if you want to do more to help preserve Matthews, you can contribute to my campaign.