CMS teachers rally for higher pay

CMS teachers rally for higher pay

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 11 at 7:33 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- CMS teachers and students took to the street Wednesday rallying for teacher salary increases. 

This comes as the county manager cuts raises out of the budget and the state has not approved giving any help. 
 
Char MECK PTA and Friends of Public Schools say they want the commission to approve the budget with the 3 percent raise for teachers, which the county manager took out. 
 
"We have so many teachers living below poverty level, working two or three jobs to make ends meet," said Friends of Public Schools rep Elyse Dashew. 
 
Commission Chair Trevor Fuller says they've had to think outside the box, proposing a quarter of a penny sales tax increase earning as much as $34 million to subsidize CMS and CPCC salaries and libraries, a tax the county manager says sets a bad precedent. 
 
"It's really my belief that the county should not get into that business because once you're in it, you're in it forever and that will potentially threaten the long term sustainability of the county," said County Manager Dena Diorio. 
 
And Diorio says it’s the state responsibility but the state House and 
Senate are far apart on their proposals. 
 
The House is proposing a 5 percent increase gambling on more people playing the lottery, while the Senate proposes an 11 percent increase at the expense of cutting TA and teacher positions. So Fuller says the state cannot be relied upon. 
 
"Both of them rely on financial gimmicks to fund these two increases instead of truly stepping up to the plate to fund sustainable dollars for teacher compensation," said Fuller. 
 
At end of day Fuller says it will be up to the voters to approve the tax increase.
 
 
"This is not a gimmick this is a sustainable source of revenue," said Fuller. 
 
House Speaker Thom Tillis said the House will vote on its budget this week in hopes that members can hash out differences with the Senate and have a 2014-15 budget approved next week.

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