School officials focused on urgent needs and county officials focused on limited money will sit down together Tuesday to start hashing out next year’s budget.
The school board and Mecklenburg County commissioners will hold a joint budget session to talk about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ $425 million request for operating money, as well as the district’s request to let voters weigh in on an $805 million bond package.
Superintendent Ann Clark called the operating plan, which would require $23 million more than CMS got this year, a lean budget that offers no new initiatives, other than expanded busing for magnet schools. She said most of the new money will go toward rising expenses and growing enrollment, including students who go to charter schools and get a share of what the county spends for education.
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Clark and the school board have also asked the county to put a bond referendum on this November’s ballot, saying the district has fallen so far behind on new schools, expansions and renovations that the earliest possible vote is needed to authorize new projects.
But county officials have said the CMS request for an additional $23 million would likely require a property tax hike and/or cuts to other county services. And they say they plan to review CMS bond plans next year, along with bonds for other county-funded projects such as parks, libraries and Central Piedmont Community College.
After the joint session, the CMS board will hold its regular meeting, which includes a report on the ongoing student assignment review. The board recently approved a contract with Alves Educational Consultants Group to help draft proposals that could take effect for 2017-18.
Both meetings are open to the public but will not include public comments.
Joint budget session
The joint work session on the budget starts at 3 p.m. Tuesday in room 267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St. It will air live online and on the Government Channel, Channel 16.
CMS board meeting
The regular school board meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Government Center meeting chamber. The agenda includes a vote on the 2017-18 school calendar and a report on the district’s student assignment review. The meeting will air live online and on CMS-TV 3.
For CMS board agendas, contact information and other links: http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/boe
For Mecklenburg County commissioner agendas, contact information and other links: http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/CountyManagersOffice/BOCC
For information on the CMS budget, bond plan and student assignment review: Find links under Spotlight at www.cms.k12.nc.us