CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and Charlotte Fire Department workers received a pay raise two years ago.

So is it time for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers to get one?

Interim superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh is pushing for a pay hike, saying they've waited too long.

Thursday s reading lesson in Mrs. Guthard s fifth grade class is about the concept of fact versus opinion.

Bethany Guthard is brand new to CMS and Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School, having come to Charlotte from south Florida.

When I moved here in June I moved without a job, Guthard said.

She says she loves being a part of CMS, but tough economic times mean CMS teachers schools haven t had a raise in four years, and in the principal s opinion, that can make it tough to recruit top teachers.

I think it s important that we are able to pay teachers at a level that s on the level with the services they provide with our students and our country, said principal Carolyn Rodd.

Hattabaugh agrees and is asking for a three percent pay raise for all teachers and staff, but the extra cash may be hard for the county to come up with.

I didn t come into this job for money. I did it because I (love) what I do, love kids and I want to make a difference, Guthard says.

But, of course, she says more money would be nice.

Rodd knows she'll have some openings next year and is hoping she'll be able to recruit top teachers.

The most important thing we do as principals is hiring, Rodd said.

She says that will depend in part on what she can pay them.

The Mecklenburg County Commissioners chair Harold Cogdell Jr. has already said he does not support the tax increase that would be necessary to pay for the raises.

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