Ann Doss Helms, Charlotte Observer
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will close schools on May 16, when about 2,000 of the district’s teachers plan to march in Raleigh for better pay and working conditions.
Durham and Chapel Hill-Carrboro school districts have also told students not to report to school that day because too many teachers will be absent. All three districts will hold an optional teacher workday on May 16.
CMS officials said they had reviewed the number of teachers who had filed for personal leave and decided they could not safely and effectively conduct classes in the state’s second-largest district. CMS has more than 9,000 teachers.
“As of late this afternoon, the current count of teacher and staff absences is approximately 2,000, the majority of which do not have subs,” said CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox. “It is important to note that this does not include normal sick days. We expect the number to increase as the day of the rally gets closer, and we don’t have substitute-teacher capacity to cover all of the requests. I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to open all schools on May 16 with the staff needed to maintain student safety — so we’ve decided to make it an optional teacher workday.”