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CMS: 31 teachers+2,665 kids

In a year when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools expects to gain almost 2,700 students, it has 31 more teachers than last year, according to an employee tally released Friday.

The school board approved a $1.24 billion operating budget Tuesday, after getting allotments from the state, county and federal governments.

On Friday, after the Observer requested employee totals, Chief Finance Officer Sheila Shirley reported that the district has gained 90 jobs, from 17,032 total positions last year to 17,122 this year.

CMS has more than 18,000 people on its payroll, but the budget tally doesn’t include employees who work in cafeterias and after-school programs because those programs are separate funds paid for by fees and are not part of the operating budget.

The budget also tallies full-time posts, so two part-timers could be counted as one employee for the tally.

The number of teachers went from 9,477 to 9,508.

The district expects to grow from 141,171 kindergarten-through-12th-grade students last year to 143,836 this fall, an increase of 2,665. School begins Aug. 26, and official attendance counts are taken in late September.

The N.C. General Assembly raised the cap on class sizes, which varies by grade level, to eliminate 5,200 teacher positions statewide and save about $286 million. The state pays for teachers based on enrollment, so CMS gains teachers when state and district officials anticipate growth.

CMS lost 214 assistants, falling from 2,131 to 1,917, according to Shirley’s tally. The 2013-14 state budget cut $120 million from the budget for teacher assistants, eliminating 3,850 jobs statewide.

CMS anticipated the cuts and eliminated jobs through attrition, avoiding the need to lay off teachers or assistants. Assistants are taking a pay cut through reduced hours and work days to preserve jobs.

Helms: 704-358-5033;Twitter: @anndosshelms
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