Angry teachers, tearful parents and students who worry about leaving schools they love bombarded the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board Tuesday night with complaints about Superintendent Peter Gorman's budget-cutting plans.
Plans to lay off hundreds of teachers, eliminate neighborhood bus stops for some magnet schools, and group the district's highest-poverty schools in separate administrative zones generated 2 1/2 hours of complaints, along with some urgings to push state and county officials for more money.
Later in the meeting, school officials rolled out a proposed "pay-as-you-play" plan to save some or all middle-school sports. It would charge $50 fees to play in middle school and $100 in high school.
In recent years, CMS budget hearings have been ho-hum, drawing only a handful of employees and advocates. Tuesday night, emotions ran high.
"You can be replaced; we can't," East Mecklenburg High teacher Gariann Yochym said, as board Chair Eric Davis tried to gavel her comments to a close and the audience applauded and cheered.