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CMS board votes to approve $2.1B budget for 2022-23 school year

The total budget is set to be $2 billion and includes $332 million in federal COVID-19 funds. The district is asking the county to kick in $579 million.
The total budget is $2.1 billion and includes $332 million in federal COVID-19 funds. The district is asking the county to kick in $579 million.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 5:15 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted 8-0 to approve its 2022-23 operating budget.

The total budget is $2.1 billion and includes $332 million in federal COVID-19 funds. The district is asking the county to kick in $579 million.

“For too long, governing bodies have argued about budgets as if they are only numbers on a page, but a thoughtful budget is more than that,” Board Chair Elyse Dashew said. “Each number in the budget represents our assessment of the needs of our students and how best to meet those needs. It is our responsibility to ensure the children of Mecklenburg County have access to a sound basic education. This is only possible with adequate funding, strategically aligned and thoughtfully deployed, as laid out in the budget we voted on tonight,”

Interim superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Hugh Hattabaugh also delivered his first report to the board of education.

Related: CMS students share suggestions they believe the interim superintendent should focus on

He’s inheriting his predecessor’s budget recommendation, which was a big part of Tuesday night’s meeting.

The 2022-23 budget aligns the district’s resources with the Board’s priorities as defined in the Goals and Guardrails document in 2021. Some highlights of those alignments are:

· Increasing the local teacher supplement to ensure that CMS students have the best and brightest teachers in the classroom

· Increasing the pay scale for teacher assistants to ensure that students have multiple educators in the classroom

· Additional funding for the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) program, including facilitators and interventionists in schools

· Additional funding to ensure students have access to college and career readiness coursework

· Additional staffing to address students’ social and emotional needs

· Elimination of multiple central office positions

Former superintendent Earnest Winston proposed the budget before the board fired him last week.

Related: CMS superintendent recommends $1.7 billion budget for 2022-23

CMS district leaders want to use some of that money to raise the minimum pay for teaching assistants to $16.50 an hour. Nearly $8 million would increase the local supplement to teachers.

Once approved by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, the budget will ensure that CMS teachers are the highest paid in the state. The CMS request of $40 million more than last year’s budget allocation also includes required funding for charter schools, employee pensions, and the opening of two new schools.

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