This short article responds to “Residents: Charlotte school location unsafe for school traffic” and comes from a parent volunteer at Mountain Island Charter School. As the mission statement of the school reflects, “MICS offers a traditional curriculum while instilling character values and leadership development within a positive, challenging learning environment. Students, teachers, staff and parents will be encouraged to lead by example through their positive impact on and service to each other, their school and their community. We endeavor to promote and foster excellence, wisdom, integrity and perseverance within our students to enable them to be successful in today’s complex and diverse society.”
Therefore, I take issue with the statement and characterization from the article that opined “others feel that because all public schools are exempt from taxes, Mount Holly won’t receive much of a financial or educational return from a school where only about 25 percent of students reside in Gaston County.”
Charter schools provide parents a choice in the education of their children, and this School of Distinction in its inaugural year proved that MICS, its staff, students and parent supporters have brought credit upon themselves, Mount Holly and Gaston County. Because of dogged determination and perseverance MICS is a success story and continues to achieve milestones in spite of the many tribulations it has endured. Since public tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, local, state and federal dollars follow the child to a charter school. So if one does the math, it is very apparent that a financial and education return most certainly is enjoyed by Mount Holly and Gaston County from the surrounding counties and from all those who have moved to the area directly as a result of having this opportunity.
As Andre Gide voices, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Therefore, The elected officials, who so publicly hailed MICS in its inaugural year, might be well served to express to the aggrieved neighborhoods that there is a process that Mount Holly/Gaston Planning Commission dictates. MICS has diligently toiled to adhere to the process. Therefore, perhaps rather than enabling disparaging remarks, Mount Holly could take action to explain the process to all parties openly. I would also remind that the end goal is edification and development of children, our most precious gifts and future.
– Kevin Holland, MICS parent,