Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is once again without a superintendent.

In an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the CMS Board of Education voted 7-2 to fire Earnest Winston due to unsatisfactory performance.

He was CMS’ fifth superintendent within 10 years and took on the role in 2019.

Fewer than 50 community members gathered in the Chamber Room of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center to await the decision of the board.

Elyse Dashew, Margaret Marshall, Sean Strain, Rhonda Cheek, Carol Sawyer, Lenora Shipp and Jennifer De La Jara voted to fire Winston.

“We believe that a different leader is needed to shore up this district and place our students on track,” Dashew said.

Ruby M.Jones and Thelma Byers-Bailey were the two board members to oppose Winston’s termination.

“I have been a supporter of Winston from the beginning, Earnest gave us his best,” Byers-Bailey said. “I don’t believe this decision serves in his best interest.”

Winston, 47, was not in attendance during the meeting.

As the result of his termination, Winston will be paid $576,800, which will be $24,033 per month, for the two remaining years of his contract.

Winston’s time as superintendent saw many obstacles such as the pandemic, a decrease in test scores and an increase in guns inside schools.

Most recently CMS pushed back the distribution of clear backpacks after finding tags that warned of possible cancer risks.

This is a developing story.

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