Union county school district in court fighting for more money - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union county school district in court fighting for more money

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MONROE, NC (WBTV) -

Union County public school system is taking the county to court. It wants more money from the county. The district believes the county has more money to give.

The county only approved about half of what the school district requested for this school year.

School officials claim what the county is offering is not enough to give students a high quality education and to take care of old buildings. Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis took the stand Tuesday. She told the jury how from the start she felt the county was shortchanging the district.

"I'm a teacher," Ellis said. "And I was trying to make the math work and it didn't work. And I stopped and said, I don't understand this."

Also in court Ellis told the jury how the county accused the school district of mishandling money. The county believes if the district spent the money properly, it would have enough to take care of the students and make necessary repairs to schools.

The county grilled Alexis Schauss Tuesday. She is the Director of School Business at the NC Department of Instruction. She told the jury how Union county sometimes ranked in the top 5 across the state when it came to funding for capital improvements. The county thought that was proof to show the county didn't need anymore money to take care of school buildings. The school district argues those rankings came during the time Union county had to build more schools to take care of growth.

The trial could take another two weeks. So far four witnesses have been called.

Union county school district has challenged the county before when it comes to the budget. Each time the county compromised and gave the school district more money, but not this time. This is the first time the school system was forced to take the county to court..

Court resumes Wednesday morning with the superintendent back on the stand.

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