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Thelma Byers-Bailey

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Thelma Byers-Bailey
Thelma Byers-Bailey.jpg
Board member, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, District 2
Term ends
November 2017
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sFisk University
Master'sSaint Louis University
J.D.Saint Louis University
Campaign website
Thelma Byers-Bailey campaign logo
Thelma Byers-Bailey is the District 2 member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board. She won election to the board on November 5, 2013.


Byers-Bailey was born and raised in North Carolina. She received her bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics from Fisk University. Byers-Bailey then received her J.D. and a master's degree in Urban Affairs from Saint Louis University. She ran her own general practice law firm in Northern California with a focus on litigating child custody cases, guardianships and other issues impacting the interests of children. Prior to her self-employment, Byers-Bailey was employed by the Legal Services of Southern California after being admitted to the California Bar. Immediately after graduating from Law School, she was employed as a Law Clerk in the Legal Department of Anheuser-Busch Company, Inc. Before attending law school, she worked for the State of California, Department of Justice as a Data Processing Systems Analyst with the Central Justice Information System. Byers-Bailey has been the President of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Association for the past 7 years. She also currently serves the Democratic Party as a member of the state Counsel of Review from the 12th Congressional District and the county Precinct 55 as Treasurer. Byers-Bailey is also a certified Red Cross disaster relief volunteer, and has served as an after-school math tutor for 4th and 5th grade students at Walter G. Byers School. In the past she has also served as a JCSU student mentor, as a member of a fund-raising committee for the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte as well as a member of an advisory committee to the Afro-American Cultural Center. Byers-Bailey married Dr. Edward J. Bailey. They have two children and seven grandchildren.[1]


See also: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools elections (2013)


Byers-Bailey ran for the District 2 seat on the school board on November 5, 2013 against incumbent Richard McElrath.


Byers-Bailey won the general election on November 5, 2013.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools General Election, District 2, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngThelma Byers-Bailey 70.4% 8,471
     Nonpartisan Richard McElrath Incumbent 29.2% 3,515
     Nonpartisan Write-in 0.4% 51
Total Votes 12,037
Source: Mecklenburg County, "Election Results," accessed December 14, 2013


Byers-Bailey reported $11,090.82 in contributions and $9,814.63 in expenditures to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, which left her campaign with $1,276.19 on hand.[2]


Byers-Bailey did not received any official endorsements for her campaign.

Campaign themes

Byers-Bailey identified the following campaign themes on her website for 2013:[3]


"Our students are graduating and entering the most global workforce that has ever existed. Diversity within our school population is the key to preparing our students to function in this workforce. One way to achieve diversity is with a strong magnet school system. Our city has a historically racial housing pattern which is mirrored in the population of our neighborhood schools. No matter how excellent our neighborhood schools are, they cannot replace the value of providing our students daily contact with others who don’t look like themselves. Learning to respect others from different cultures also goes a long way toward promoting a safe environment, free of bullying and intimidation."

Disciplinary Policy

"Today we are flushing our children’s future down the drain with uneven enforcement of zero tolerance policies which funnel minority students out of the classroom and into the courtroom. Our out of school suspensions have turned into a reward for bad behavior as our children are being released to run the streets."

School Board Purpose

"TI have seen schools in my district as well as their surrounding neighborhoods decimated by insensitive decisions made by our School Board. While we are certainly grateful for the interventions that Project LIFT is making within that zone, I believe that all the children in CMS deserve the very best education they are capable of absorbing, whether their goal is a career or college. Students live up to or down to the expectations of their environment. I believe it is the job of our School Board to make sure that all of our students achieve to the very best of their abilities."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What's at stake?

The District 2 seat is at stake as well as the financial security of the district. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has experienced budget difficulties in recent years and the board has recently developed a school bond plan to reopen and expand current schools after closing some in 2010.

About the district

See also: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the district for Mecklenburg County. Mecklenburg County has population of 969,031.[4]


The county outperforms with the state averages in education and median household income. According to the 2010 Census, the percentage of residents with a high school degree (88.6%) is higher than the state of North Carolina (84.1%) and the percentage of residents over 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher is higher in Mecklenburg County (40.4%) compared to the state overall (26.5%). The median household income in Mecklenburg County is $55,994 compared to North Carolina's statewide median of $46,291.[4]

Racial Demographics, 2012[4]
Race Mecklenburg County (%) North Carolina (%)
White 60.1 71.9
Black or African American 31.8 22.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.5
Asian 5.1 2.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.2 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 12.5 8.7

Presidential Voting Pattern[5]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 60.8 38.0
2008 62.0 38.0
2004 51.6 48.0
2000 48.3 51.0

See also

External links

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