CMS teachers take budget requests from Raleigh to county commission

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Passionate teachers took their concerns to the Mecklenburg County Commission Monday night.

The commission is mulling over a budget proposed by the county manager that does not give the full funding the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System asked for.

"If we don't do it, who will," CMS teacher Linda Ingle said.

First North Carolina teachers rallied big in Raleigh in May. Now, they are bringing that same passion home. A sea of red filled the county commission public hearing for next year's budget.

"I am red for ed because we are not doing what it takes," one teacher said from the podium.

As budget season wraps up, CMS has requested $40 million more from the county than last year, but the county manager's proposed budget only allots for $24 million.

"Our budgets represent our priorities and does this budget show was prioritize our teachers, I don't think it does," one teacher's husband said to commission.

The group wants money for things like English language teachers, cultural programs and teacher raises.

"We are on the front lines every single day," Ingle said.

Commissioners do not usually comment at public hearings, but Vilma Leake addressed the crowd beforehand.

"Let's do the right thing for the right people at the right time and that's teachers," she said.

CMS is requesting a seven percent raise for teachers. Teachers say they have not had one in about 10 years.

"We need this budget passed," one said from the podium. "There's so much more that's needed, it just scratches the surface."

The county will meet again to discuss the budget later this week. They will need to adopt it for the next year, by June 19.

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