I’m going to quote Peter Smolowitz at length to not confuse anything:

To help improve customer service, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will open its central office an hour earlier, at 7 a.m., and close it an hour later, at 6 p.m.

The weekday hours, which take effect Monday, now match the hours of the six regional offices CMS opened this summer throughout the county.

The longer days at the Education Center, 701 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., will not cost the school district extra money, a spokeswoman said. Instead, CMS adjusted workers’ schedules.

Don’t bother reading that again, it just makes your head hurt.

First, is it not clear that the Learning Communities must have been repeatedly trying to reach someone at the Ed Center only to find the Ed Center closed? This goes directly to criticism of the regional system as just another layer of bureaucracy without any real power — or information.

This is CMS’ idea of customer service. Customer drives to regional center. Asks question. Regional center dials Ed Center for answer. Gets answer. Tells customer. Customer drives home.

No one even entertains the notion that the customer should be able to dial the Ed Center directly for an answer. No, no. Route it thru CMS first.

Then there is this bit about increasing the staffing and operation of the Ed Center by 20 percent will have no added cost. That is amazing. Private companies would kill for that ability — increase your hours of operation at no added cost or loss of productivity.

If CMS really thinks it can do this it can only mean that the Ed Center has been significantly overstaffed over the years. They were staffed for 55 hour workweeks, but only working 45 hours.

Put another way, CMS could opt to cut Ed Center staff by 20 percent and keep the same hours.

Funny, that is not an option.