• School and county leaders dispute budget request


    Mecklenburg County Commissioners listened to a budget request Monday from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools leaders who want $46 million more than it did last year.
    That money would help raise pay for teachers and all CMS staff but county leaders said that could set a precedent.
    CMS leaders and students made it clear to county commissioners they believe teachers and staff members need more money.
    Commissioners told Channel 9 they're concerned about possibly giving more money on the county level to help with raises because it could set a precedent for future years.
    The issue of who should raise teacher pay -- the state or county -- has made some frustrated, especially because of how this year's budget process between the school district and county has played out so far.

     “We are friends and generally speaking it is not productive to attack friends, generally speaking,” Commission Chairman Trevor Fuller said.
    CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison listened and responded.

    “When you're friends, you're honest with each other,” Morrison said.
    Morrison continues to make the case for more money saying students would suffer without it.
    Enrollment has grown by 10,000 students in four years.
    The district said operations and state-mandated program-costs are rising, leaving fewer dollars for new initiatives.
    Robin Gordon and other teachers made their pleas at the meeting.
    She's been a CMS teacher for 18 years and said in that time her salary along with being a single mother qualified her for Medicaid.
    “It's disheartening,” Gordon said. “Watching my colleagues go and work two or three jobs after school. It just shouldn't happen.”
    State legislators are considering a proposal made by Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this month, which would give teachers a 2 percent raise.
    The county will hold a public hearing on its budget on June 11.

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