Curious Chatham: As Chatham considers options, hundreds of kids go without a home

While visiting Northwood High School a few weeks back, a student asked Our Chatham about homeless students, which immediately drew our interest and attention. In a county of such wealth in pockets but despair in others, wasn’t there a shelter or some place these kids could call home? The county is working on options for children without such a basic need, but the quick answer is no – there isn’t, and hundreds of students are in this precarious spot of making do with little to nothing. Adrianne Cleven dug in to explain the matter further. A 17-year-old student at Northwood High School – to protect her, we’ll call her Kate – returns from her days working and attending class to sleep at her friend’s home.

How will Chatham County find and pay for resources for new schools?

Chatham Park officials estimate that the
largest mixed-use development in the state will generate 6,051 additional
students in Chatham County. For context, Chatham County Schools currently
serves 8,840 students. 

More students, naturally, means more teachers. This thought wasn’t lost on William Rosenfeld, a self-described elderly professional who has “been very interested in education quality and funding for many decades.” With that in mind, Rosenfeld asked Our Chatham to report on how CCS will “find (and pay for) teachers?” with the Chatham Park development. Much of the growth is still a while down the
line, with no CCS in Chatham Park actively under construction or even formally
announced. But the need for future schools is undeniable, as long as plans hold
for Chatham Park to generate an additional 60,000 residents for Chatham County
in the next 40 years.