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VOTE411 Voter Guide

School Board District 2

The nine-member Board of Education is the governing body of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, with five primary responsibilities: 1. Employ the superintendent 2. Establish policy 3. Determine annual operating and capital budgets 4. Approve student assignment boundaries 5. Oversee the management of the school district’s major systems, including budget and finance, curriculum and instruction, personnel and auxiliary servicesThe CMS Board of Education includes six district representatives and three at-large representatives. District and at-large representatives are elected every two years on a rotating schedule. All members serve four-year terms.
  • Candidate picture

    Thelma Byers-Bailey (N) Retired Attorney

  • Candidate picture

    Lenora Shipp (N) Educator - Teacher, Administrator

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Biographical Information

Do you have, or have you had in the past, children in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system?

Do you support the school bond referendum on the ballot this election? Why or why not?

Are there any problems specific to your district that you want to address if elected? Please explain.

Please reflect on the goals of the student assignment plan to reduce concentrations of poverty and suggest what cooperative actions you would like to see the Board champion to further advance the goals.

How important do you feel the pre-kindergarten experience is, and what role does (or should) local government play?

Our neighborhoods and schools are largely segregated by race and socioeconomic status. Do schools with high concentrations of poverty need additional programs to help students succeed? If so, can you suggest programs that have evidence of success?

English Language Learners (ESLs) are now a significant percentage of the school population and also a high percentage of the drop-outs. What programs would you recommend to support those students as they are enrolled and as they progress through the system?

What do you see as the pluses and minuses of charter schools?

Why should or shouldn't public funds go to private schools?

Position/philosophy statement I know for certain that every child is capable of learning and becoming a productive citizen.
Current occupation Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education representing District Two
Age 73
Campaign Phone (980) 272-1943
Twitter @Thelma4CMS
No, my children attended schools in Illinois & CA.
YES, our schools are currently over-crowded & many of our facilities are over 50 years old & in poor condition. We cannot prepare our students to be productive 21st century citizens while attempting to educate them such deplorable conditions. We could lose our accreditation if this is not corrected.
My district lost 3 middle schools when K8’s were created. This bond only restores one. My district needs two more middle schools in order to fully prepare our students attending neighborhood schools to compete and excel in the comprehensive high school environment. Some administrators have chosen to eliminate media specialists & AVID programs in our elementary & K8 schools both of which are crucial to supplement the enriched environment necessary for our students to believe they can achieve.
Phase one of student assignment plan is designed to reduce concentrations of poverty in our magnet schools & when coupled with an aggressive media plan to reach minority parents should be successful. Because neighborhood schools are populated from segregated communities, we require the City & County to create more diverse neighborhoods by creating more mixed income housing throughout the county. CMS can impact school demographics to a smaller extent through permissive transfers when requested.
Pre-school education is critical in addressing a child's readiness to learn by kindergarten. If a child is not ready to learn to read by kindergarten, it is not likely that they will be reading by 3rd grade. This is a formula that almost guarantees that the achievement gap cannot be reduced later.
Yes. AVID has a proven record of success over many years when offered with fidelity and especially when introduced in the lower grades. AVID couples academics with inspirational experiences that motivate achievement. Students can't be what they can't see. Last year, every one of West Charlotte's senior AVID students was accepted to college. Mentors & sponsors also inspire a vision for the future.
They tend to get off track in high school where the streets begin to divert their attention. We need to provide culturally relevant emotional support as they are attempting to transition from their native language to English. Mentors & tutors from their communities would help to keep them engaged.
The plus is those schools that are able to serve students who have dropped out, aged out or been expelled but need a controlled environment to complete their education. The minus is those schools that facilitate parents’ ability to avoid student body diversity which exacerbates resegregated schools.
I don’t have a problem with the opportunity scholarship as it was originally proposed to provide low income students an alternative opportunity. I have issues when the income requirements continually increase to allow those who don’t need assistance to get a private education on the public’s dime.
Position/philosophy statement I am committed to advancing academic excellence for all children! I believe in the power of teamworK
Current occupation Retired Principal (I served as interim Administrator, substitute teacher and support staff for CMS)
Age 58
Campaign Phone (704) 583-4026
Campaign email
YouTube video
My daughter attended CMS K-12, MPHS graduate 2012
Yes, I support the School Board bonds this election. We need school buildings that enable innovative teaching and learning, promote safe environments, operations and, student enrichment activities. 29 high need projects to support equity throughout the district.
District 2 has one of the largest population of at-risk students in CMS. There is a strong need to address: equity and diversity in the schools, facilities, increasing student achievement - raising the bar and closing the achievement gap. We must accelerate as hard as we remediate; advance placements in middle and high school courses/options - AP, IB courses for students to be college and/or career ready.
The Board needs to continue to work on providing more diversity in the schools in high poverty areas such as District 2. They need more magnet programs in these areas that draw children from throughout the district (addressing rezoning and busing issues). An Effective planning community with all stakeholders input. They need to ensure that the new magnet schools both partial and full get the resources and staffing needed to support these programs to impact higher levels of student achievement.
The pre-kindergarten experience is extremely important. Pre-K gives our children an emotional, social and academic foundation for early learning advancement. The local government should play a role in providing funding to increase the Pre-K programs throughout the school district.
Yes, schools with high concentration of poverty need additional programs to succeed. Additional programs such as Before and After school learning-based tutorial programs (remedial and enrichment) within the communities and neighborhood. Local Business Partnership programs, Summer Programs such as Y-Readers, 21 Century Grant Education Program, Transitions Summer Programs. Increase Magnet Program.
Early learning programs, Pre-K, highly effective ESL. Teachers working with students on language acquisition and reading comprehension; Parent programs such as "Even Start",parent workshops; Provide more support for Technical College prep programs; Community and Business partnership for internships
Parents were hopeful that their children whom had not been successful in the public school (academically and socially) would find success in the charter schools. Minuses- Charter schools and Public schools were not held to the same State standards for curriculum/instruction and teaching requirements
Public funds should not go to the private schools. As a community school district, our primary role is to support a quality sound education for all students. We have a great challenge to ensure that all schools in the district provide every child with the best education possible. logo


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