Education

CMS projection: $27.6 million more needed to preserve programs

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is projecting it will need an additional $27.6 million from the county to keep its programs and staffing the same next year. “That number is a high number before we get started,” said Superintendent Ann Clark, shown in January.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is projecting it will need an additional $27.6 million from the county to keep its programs and staffing the same next year. “That number is a high number before we get started,” said Superintendent Ann Clark, shown in January. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is projecting it will need an additional $27.6 million from the county to keep its programs and staffing the same next year.

The increases are largely driven by expected raises for beginning teachers, preserving teaching assistant positions and the required funding for enrollment growth at the county’s charter schools.

The figures were presented to the school board Tuesday as part of a budget workshop.

That number does not include any money for staff salary increases or to launch any new initiatives. School board members have expressed their support for requesting increases as large as 5 percent.

“That number is a high number before we get started,” Clark said. She said that will make it more difficult to launch new initiatives in the coming school year.

CMS receives the bulk of its funding from the state, but Mecklenburg County provides about 30 percent. The school district presents a recommended budget each year, and county commissioners get the final say on whether to fund it fully.

About $8 million of the anticipated increase would go straight to charter schools. CMS is projecting that the county’s charters will have about 2,000 more students next year.

An additional $5 million would go to match the salary increases that the state legislature is expected to grant beginning teachers. New teacher pay would rise to $35,000 under Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget proposal.

The increase also includes $2.6 million to pay for driver’s ed training. The state currently plans to end its funding for the program.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn

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