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CMS superintendent adding to the budget?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - New Charlotte - Mecklenburg school district (CMS) superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison is changing things up and it could mean making CMS' budget bigger.

Morrison is responding to people who participated in a recent audit. They were complimentary and critical of the Human Resources and Communications Department.

People who participated in the audit stated they want CMS TV to come back. That service was cut a few years ago to save the district money.  People claim they need it so the district can communicate with them better.

The superintendent says the TV service could come back different and cheaper.

"Maybe we have our students run CMS TV," Morrison said. "As part of a learning experience and as part of our work force development program."

While the return of CMS TV is up in the air, what will happen is Morrison's new appointments.

At his Wednesday's press conference the new superintendent introduced the additions to his executive staff.

Dr. Kelly Gwaltney will be the new Human Resources Director. She says she will talk to each worker to better understand the department and what needs to be changed. She believes her job is important to academic achievement.

"When we look at how we select staff," Gwaltney said. "How we match them to vacant positions. It's about how we are going to come in and fit with the needs of children. And I think that's important."

The new Chief Communications Officer, Kathryn Block, is also anxious to start her new position. She says the communications department needs work and that her job will help parents.

"This is very much about a partnership," Block said. "Communication is critical to help them making decisions about how to parent and about making their children successful."

Morrison created a new position for outgoing CMS Executive Communications Director, LaTarjza Henry. She will be the new superintendent of community partnerships and family engagement.

"What do they need to be able to be involved in their child's education," Henry said. "And we have to meet them where they are, so my work is focused on figuring that out for all parents."

Morrison says the two new chiefs will make $160,000 annually each, while Henry will keep her same salary. The superintendent says he will have to add Henry's salary into the budget.

Morrison also wants to add more positions in the future. He wants an executive Director of Professional Development, a Director of Quality Control and a Chief Academic Officer. Those additions could cost the district more money but the superintendent claims if it does cost CMS extra, the additions will be worth it.

"I'll always publicly state what I am intending to do," the superintendent said. "I'll explain the rationale behind it and I expect people to judge me on results, which I think is fair."

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