CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV - New Mecklenburg county at large county commissioner Kim Ratliff has an agenda.
"Want to increase funding for CMS and Central Piedmont." Ratliff said.
She also wants to create jobs. She knows it will take support on the commission to make all that happen, but she says she specializes in partnering with others.
"I have been a community activist for 20 years," Ratliff said. "And want to continue that - fostering relationships."
Charlotte - Mecklenburg school (CMS) board vice chairperson, Mary McCray, likes that idea. She hopes more money will come to the district so the county can catch the school district up after years of being cut.
"If we can get back up to the level we were back then," McCray said. "We can start restoring things and move us forward."
McCray claims more money will help students in need.
"A lot of our students," McCray said. "They need intensive wraparound services. They need social services, health and nutrition, medical. We got to get some of those things into our schools to students, so they can be the best they can be."
County Commissioner Bill James says "No" to giving CMS more money, unless his colleagues can find other places to cut. He also fears giving CMS more money could equal a tax increase.
Last year the county gave CMS about $9 million more than the previous year. CMS wanted about $28 million more.
New CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison wasted no time telling new commissioners the needs of CMS. He talked to the them while they were candidates.
"Seed has been planted," McCray said. "And we just have to go fertilize and make sure there is a clear understanding about what we are trying to do with the students we are trying to serve."
CMS has started working on its 2013-2014 budget.
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