CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A day after thousands of teachers marched in Raleigh for more education funding, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) presented its budget to the Board of County Commissioners with an emphasis on teacher pay.
The proposed 2018-2019 CMS budget includes a request for $6.9 million for a county supplement pay increase. The plan stated this was a seven percent increase and the first rate increase since 2012. CMS advocated it's needed to keep CMS competitive in hiring teachers and certified staff.
“I think this is eventually the right thing for us to do, for us to openly say to our teachers, we support you,” said CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.
In looking at data for teacher salaries within CMS, most are made up of a combination of state and local government dollars. The proposed county supplement pay increase would give a teacher with 10 years experience an increase of $42.63 per month over a 10 month period, or $1.98 per teacher work day.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE) supported the budget request, but President Erlene Lyde said the county can still do more to support its teachers.
“It’s better than nothing, but the county commission has the power to increase that amount,” Lyde said, "and we hope they will support teachers in doing so.”
Lyde said she is encouraged and inspired to continue advocating on behalf of teachers after seeing firsthand the stance so many took in Raleigh on Wednesday. The march and rally were just the first steps, she said, in a long six months until the general election in November.
“We’re eventually going to work toward putting new people in the legislature who will be public education friendly,” she added.
Lyde said the next steps include voter registration drives and town halls to accomplish the goal of having people in power who support their mission in the classroom.
“We’re going back to our communities,” Lyde said, “and we’re going to do this.”