CMS board provides updates on schools, proposes $539 million budget for next year

CMS board provides updates on schools, proposes $539 million budget for next year

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials focused on students Tuesday night. Students are out of school to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and they are not sure when they will see their classmates or teachers again.

Leaders at the virtual CMS Board of Education meeting said social workers are reaching out to students to make sure they are OK.

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Social workers have been giving updates on each school so the principal can make sure every child's needs are met. Board members also announced that all proms have officially been canceled.

The CMS superintendent presented his 2020- 2021 budget proposal. He is asking for $538 million from Mecklenburg County.

Superintendent Earnest Winston said since there is still not a state budget this year, it’s not clear if there will be one next year. So, they’re asking, in part, for $11 million for employee raises and $12 million for student growth and additional space costs.

“Despite the unknown challenges we face, we are committed to looking ahead and preparing for the future needs of our students and staff,” Winston said.

The budget proposal asks for local investment for sustaining operations, employees, student growth and program expansion.

Requests include $11.7 million for employee raises, including an increase in the minimum pay rate to $14.11 per hour for all hourly staff and increases in health insurance and retirement rates.

The budget proposal provides $12 million for student growth and additional space costs. This amount includes $9 million to cover projected enrollment growth in charter schools. The remaining $2.1 million will cover maintenance and operating costs for a new school and additional facility space.

The proposal also requests $11.2 million for program expansion and new initiatives. Of that total, $3.4 million will allow the district to continue to add student support staffing, and social and emotional learning support. The request includes $1.9 million for Exceptional Children staffing and special education support. The remainder will cover safety and security, Building Services staffing and preventive maintenance.

The Board will vote on the budget at its April 28 meeting. The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners will make its funding decisions for CMS in June.