Public hearing on proposed CMS budget on agenda for Tuesday’s school board meeting

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board will hold a public hearing on the superintendent’s 2014-15 proposed budget during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The district could ask for a $46.2 million increase from the county if the proposal that Superintendent Heath Morrison presented April 8 is approved.

The request asks the county to fund a 3 percent pay increase for all CMS employees, as well as other education improvements. The proposed budget would increase county funding for CMS by about 13 percent to $402.7 million.

The state ranks 46th in the nation in average teacher pay. Last week, a General Assembly task force examining the issue said that finding a sustainable and effective solution would require more study.

The legislative session reconvenes next month, and some county commissioners say that raises are the state’s responsibility, as the majority of CMS teachers are state employees.

The most recent pay bump local teachers received was a 1.2 percent state raise in 2012-13. Mecklenburg commissioners provided an additional $18.5 million to bring that to 3 percent for CMS employees.

After Tuesday’s public budget hearing, the CMS board will meet for a budget work session April 29. The board is scheduled to approve a budget request at its May 13 meeting.

County Manager Dena Diorio will evaluate CMS’ request against others before presenting her recommended budget to county commissioners in late May.

County commissioners won’t vote on an operating budget until mid-June, and it could be September before a finalized operating budget is approved by the school board.