CMS asks state for funds to help teacher, staff vacancies

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is addressing teacher and staff vacancies, which has been an issue across the district.

Board members approved the 2023-2024 legislative agenda, which includes requests to federal, state, and local agencies that fund CMS in the areas of academics, finance, personnel, and statutory regulations.

The Education Law Center graded how well all 50 states funded public education in 2022.

North Carolina ranked 50th and received a grade of “F” for the percentage of the state’s economic activity that’s focused on K-12 public education.

Art teacher Rae LeGrone said that currently, CMS loses out on a lot of prospective educators coming from out of the Tar Heel State.

“They might have taught in New York for 25 years,” LeGrone said. “They come down here and they’re considered a beginning teacher.”

CMS board members want the state to allow licensure reciprocity for teachers coming to North Carolina from the other 49 states.

The district also said that being a nurse in a North Carolina public school is just as frustrating.

The legislative agenda calls on state lawmakers to allow school districts to hire certified nurses that don’t have a bachelor’s degree.

“A lot of our students don’t necessarily go to doctors,” LeGrone said. “They might not have health care. Even at large high schools, a lot of times, we share nurses, so you don’t have a nurse on campus every day.”

It’s a robust list of requests for a legislature that is often at odds with the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

“Questions are often asked of board members, ‘Why don’t we act in a particular way or more aggressively on matters, such as teacher pay and retention efforts?’” said Stephanie Sneed, CMS board member. “We are often subjected to legislation that prevents us from making headways in these areas.”

The district is also asking for:

  • Free lunch for all students
  • The flexibility to change school calendars
  • The reinstatement of master’s pay benefits
  • Limits on early voting at schools
  • Free ridership on CATS buses for CMS employees and students

VIDEO: Guest, substitute teachers to fill CMS vacancies as 1st day of school approaches

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.