CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools superintendent laid out his budget plan Tuesday at the School Board’s meeting.
Heath Morrison asked the board to consider a budget that includes $402.7 million from Mecklenburg County.
The request for the 2014-2015 school year is $46.2 million more than the county gave last year.
Morrison wants more for what he said are four critical areas including $26.7 million to boost pay by 3 percent for all staff including teachers, $1.9 million to offer more academic options for students and $1.2 million to improve literacy programs.
In addition, he proposed $3.7 million for more psychologists, counselors and social workers on campuses.
"This is the highest priority," Morrison said. "The time for increasing teacher compensation is now."
Teachers and parents told Eyewitness News it's "unacceptable" that North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation when it comes to teacher pay.
"Unfortunately, our teachers who work endless hours during the day end up having to go home and start their second job," Terri O'Leary, a senior administrative assistant at Ballyntyne Elementary School said.
But, it's not just up to the district or the board to decide. Mecklenburg County commissioners have to look at their budget and most of CMS’s funding comes from the state.
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham told Eyewitness News by email Tuesday she liked the proposal.
"Education and a trained workforce are key to economic development and more jobs for our graduates and our citizens," Cotham said. "Last year at the county we faced a deficit. This year we have a surplus because of the hard decisions we made last year. Our new county manager and our CMS superintendent are focused on moving our county forward. Together we can do it."
Commissioners will meet with the School Board in May. A final budget won't be approved until later in the summer.
Information on future budget meetings:
April 21, 6 p.m. at Hopewell High School
- Community meeting on Superintedent's Budget Recommendation
April 22, 6 p.m. Board of Education Meeting
- Public hearing on Superintendent's Budget Recommendation