A year after COVID, the CMS budget calls for teacher salary increases and further support for students

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools staff could receive a 3% salary increase, hiring more social workers and psychologists under a $ 1.77 billion budget approved by the school board on Tuesday It will be.

Ernest Winston’s proposed budget is currently seeking approval from the Mecklenburg County Commissioner, focusing on investing in four different areas.

“We know that pandemics affect almost every aspect of our lives,” Winston said. “The budget we’ve discussed and the budget we’ll present for your consideration tonight have been created under the influence of the front lines and centers of the pandemic.”

Including the one-time $ 446 million federal COVID funding available for fiscal year 2022-2024, the budget can be up to $ 2.1 billion. Compared to last year, the budget demands an additional $ 26.5 million from the county.

The budget was passed with one negative vote from board member Sean Strain.He was also a single negative vote Last year’s budget..

“After all, how do you move the dials you use to measure student and school district grades? I haven’t seen it yet,” he said. “It’s a shame because we have a great opportunity to inject $ 500 million in a couple of years.”

Of the county’s investment, $ 10.1 million is for teacher salaries and benefits, $ 9.7 million is for student growth, $ 9.3 million is for expanding programs and creating new initiatives, and $ 1.5 million is for district management. Dedicated to maintenance.

Under the new budget, CMS staff will receive a 3% salary increase and additional funding will cover the state-mandated increase in health and retirement.

“They were asked to do more this year than ever before,” Winston said of the teacher.

Operating costs are incurred for the three new schools in the school district and alternative schools that will open in the fall. According to Winston, an additional 416,107 square feet is needed to reduce student congestion.

The $ 3.9 million allocated for student health and academic support will help more social workers and school psychologists in the district. Elyse Dashew, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said he made regular annual requests because of the need.

“They were terribly overburdened before the pandemic, and now even more,” she said of social workers and psychologists.

Charter school growth for about 2,000 students requires a budget of $ 7.6 million, and $ 200,000 will be sent to 10 middle and high school pilot action and support centers to address suspension. ..

The budget was initially proposed at a meeting of the Board on March 23, and the district hosted two events to hear comments from the community. There, parents expressed concern about the social and emotional needs and academic fairness of their students, as well as the need for effective teachers, constant communication and secure classrooms.

At the board meeting earlier this month, no one talked about the budget proposal at the hearing. Board members discussed the budget during the April 15 work session.

Requests for additional funding will be sent to the Commission on May 4.

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