Charlotte public schools under constant pressure

Nowhere is this stress more evident than in the school buildings themselves. Some were constructed more than a half century ago. Symptoms include outdated and failing heating, air conditioning and plumbing systems, cramped classrooms and woefully inadequate technology.

Against this backdrop, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners took a bold and historic step by adding a $922 million bond referendum to the November ballot to fund capital needs of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Once again, the Charlotte Chamber tapped Chernoff Newman to help, as it has done for seven previous bond efforts since 2007.

The morning after the county commission vote, we helped plan and execute a presser to announce the campaign launch and co-chairs. The event received extensive news coverage on local television, print and online media outlets, including feature stories in the Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte Agenda and WBTV (CBS). For the occasion, we created a campaign graphic identity, printed collateral and landing page. Next up: a campaign website, speakers bureau, yard signs, paid media strategy and full suite of printed and digital informational materials.


Election day may seem a long way off, but as one co-chair commented: “It’s never too early to begin engaging voters, because the stakes are very high. We must maintain positive momentum and continue to invest in our educational infrastructure. That’s why earning voter approval for these bonds is so vitally important.”

The bonds will address a wide range of capital needs:

  • 10 new schools
  • 7 new or expanded magnet schools or programs
  • 1,250 new or renovated classrooms
  • 20,000 newly constructed and renovated seats
  • 4,000 new seats to expand access to magnet programs or other school options
  • 335 fewer mobile classrooms

But another co-chair cited the most important figure: “148,000 reasons to vote yes – one for every student in the system.” We couldn’t agree more.