NAACP leader wants state to audit Charlotte’s school spending

Corine Mack says she supports the detention of $ 56 million from Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools until state leaders can pay for the district’s expenses.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP has entered the public debate over the budget for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, calling for an independent CMS audit to review the district’s financial records and contest their spending.

Mecklenburg County Director Dena Diorio recently said the county is ready to withhold up to $ 56 million from CMS until the district can deliver a measurable plan to improve inequalities affecting students from minorities and improve university and career preparation for all students.

“Now is the time to be accountable to the public for local taxpayer dollars and our children’s education,” said NAACP Charlotte Mecklenburg Chapter President Corine Mack. “In my opinion, the most crucial time for officials to criticize CMS operations is before the county approves the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to CMS.

Mack went on to say in her statement that she was against donating an additional $ 56 million to CMS until it is settled how the tax money is being spent.

George Dunlap, chairman of the Mecklenburg County Council of Commissioners, invited CMS leaders to meet with the commissioners to discuss their concerns about the budget. The issue has divided the board of trustees, with some commissioners criticizing taking money out of schools, including Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, who said she understood the frustration but could not support taking that money out. of CMS.

“It’s going to make it worse and set our kids back,” Rodriguez-McDowell said.

RELATED: Meck County Commissioners Parted Over Proposal To Hold $ 56 Million From Next CMS Budget

Diorio said the $ 56 million that could be limited generally goes to board members and the superintendent, saying students and teachers would not be affected by the change.

“The categories we withheld the money with were the categories that pay the school board and the superintendent,” Diorio said. “We have made the very intentional decision not to take money out of items that really affect the classroom.”

Mack has asked North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to oversee the CMS spending audits. She also wants the CMS Education Council to approve an independent audit at the local level.

“The failure of CMS to improve the status of children in our region does not relieve the Mecklenburg school system, the Board of Education or the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners of responsibility for their actions leading CMS to where it is needed. is today, ”Mack said. “They all let down our children.”

RELATED: “We’re Really Not Withholding Money” | Community Leaders Join CMS Budget Q&A Forum

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