Depends on who you ask! Charlotte City and Mecklenburg County Schools merged in the early 1970s, creating a very large school system. Which looks great on paper, but has created a system of haves and have nots. We have some superb public schools, with kids receiving piles of scholarship money and scores that trump the state averages. We also have underfilled schools with poverty issues, fewer resources and scores that are so low as to cry out for help. In addition to those two extremes, we have experienced such growth in the suburbs that THOSE schools are incredibly overcrowded.
So what's the answer? Where do you spend the money? Build more schools or fix the ones you have or both? Schools are a very contentious political issue in the area.
All of the above can tell you why so many families do check out the surrounding counties as alternatives, and why charter schools are growing in popularity inside Mecklenburg County. It's a tough question with no easy answers.