CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board approved a $1.19 billion budget for the 2012-2013 school year Tuesday night.
The final vote was 8 to 1 to pass the budget that will be a $27. 5 million increase over the current budget.
For the first time in recent years it does not call for layoffs, and, in fact would give teachers and staff a 3% raise.
We want to recruit and retain the best classroom teachers and employees we can and compensation is an important part of that, said Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh.
CMS teachers have not enjoyed a raise since the 08-09 school year.
In voting for the proposed budget, board member Richard McElrath said, I don't see how we can keep the teachers in this system if we don't pay them.
The lone dissenting vote was cast by Rhonda Lennon, who said the budget did not address the late bell schedules that many students and parents have complained about.
While I think teacher raises are important, I think nothing is as important as meeting the needs of our customers and in this case that is the children, Lennon said.
While he did vote for the budget, board member Tim Morgan said he feared what would happen when it reached the County Commission.
Based on the conversations I've had with county commissioners, I think this is DOA, said Morgan.
Earlier in the evening, Commission Chairman Harold Cogdell did not seem to hold out much hope for the budget to stand as it is now.
We have some realities that we have to deal with on the county level in that we have not totally recovered from the recession.
The Commission is due to vote on the school budget in June.