Citizens’ Task Force on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The Citizens’ Task Force on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was formed as a temporary solution to a long-term issue: improving the CMS educational experience in preparation for an additional 54,000 students by 2015.

The Citizens’ Task Force on CMS was convened in March 2005 by Foundation For The Carolinas and comprised 16 corporate and civic leaders who were led by co-chairs Cathy Bessant of Bank of America and Harvey Gantt of Gantt Huberman Architects.

The Task Force was charged with overseeing a study on the most advantageous management and governance structure for CMS. In December 2005, the Task Force released a report, Findings and Recommendations of the Citizens’ Task Force on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which detailed 21 recommendations intended to result in a governance and organizational management model that will empower CMS to more effectively meet its current and future challenges.

In 2006 the Task Force completed its work and acting on its recommendation to establish a civic commission to support the reform of CMS, formed Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education. The role of Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education is to serve as an advocate for public school education, become a catalyst for change and ensure the accountability of the CMS system.

Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education is a programmatic merger of four education entities: Charlotte Advocates for Education, the Education Program of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation and the Citizens’ Task Force on CMS.


The Citizens’ Task Force on CMS was formed in March 2005 and completed its work December 2006. The Task Force comprised corporate and civic leaders.


Catherine Bessant,
Co-Chair
Harvey Gantt, Co-Chair
Astrid Chirinos
Joni Davis
Frank Emory, Jr.
Carols Evans
Malcolm Everett III
Karen Fesperman
Shirley Fulton
J. Bernard Johnson
Gregory Moss, Sr.
Patricia Rodgers
Sharon Starks
Judi Strause
Michael Tarwater
Krista Tillman