CHARLOTTE -- Mecklenburg County commissioners approved a $1.6 billion budget Tuesday night. It does not include a property tax increase but also does not fulfill Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' funding request.
CMS asked the county for nearly $40 million but this new budget only allocates an additional $17 million. The $40 million was intended to cover different academic needs, handling growth within the school district and a 2 percent raise for all CMS workers.
County Manager Dena Diorio said teacher pay raises should be paid by the state and recommended a salary increase only for new teachers.
“The local match for increasing the starting pay for new teachers from $33,000 to $35,000, that's the only changes we made as it relates to salary, and then we included some money for growth. There's no addition to supplement in the budget for teachers,” she said.
Commissioners also passed a resolution asking the state to terminate the contract to build toll lanes on Interstate 77 near Lake Norman. The contract is for $655 million and terminating it would cost the state $100 million.
We are very disappointed that the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners did not grant our full budget-increase request. We certainly understand the large number of competing interests in the county’s budget. However, we also believe that the citizens of Mecklenburg County want public education to be adequately funded.
Final budget decisions will not be made until we receive a state approved budget, but we will continue to look for ways to reallocate money for priorities that support our north star of literacy. We want to provide the best education possible to every student and we will continue to be careful stewards of public money as we work to provide our students with an engaging and effective K-12 journey that prepares them to succeed in life.