CMS preparing for its budget request - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMS preparing for its budget request

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison is preparing the school district's 2014-15 budget.

He has already outlined things he would like to include in the budget.

It's adding up. He told board members at a Tuesday budget work session there are the basics that must be paid for, then there are the commitments he wants funded and then there are his wants.  All that equals to $45-52 million extra to the district's more than $1 billion budget.

The question now is where will the money come from and how much will CMS request.

Morrison will release his budget on April 8.

This is what he is considering. He wants to include a raise for CMS staff and pay for extra support for students. The bump in pay will cost between $17-18 million.  Parents believe teachers deserve a raise.

"They don't give them enough money," Parent Elizabeth Smith said. "They deal with these kids for eight hours."

Morrison also would like to add between $11-12 million to pay for more counselors to work at the schools.

"There's a lot of that," Smith said. "These kids are going through and these teachers don't know that's why they act out. These kids need counseling."

The superintendent also says about $8 million will be needed to give to the 11 new charter schools that will open later this year.

"Oh wow," Parent Denise Jackson said. "It's a lot."

It is estimated about 2300 students will leave a regular school and attend a charter school in Mecklenburg county next year.

CMS is required to give charter schools money according to the number of students that charter school has.

Parents WBTV talked to say they don't mind spending more money in taxes to fund education.

"If we have to," Smith said. "Then we have to."

The school board is expected to approved a budget in May.

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