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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

CMS superintendent makes case for $1.6 billion budget request
Wilcox proposal focuses on equity, salaries
 
Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019 10:28 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox unveiled a $1.6 billion budget that includes raises for teachers, new staffing and curriculum equity.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ proposed $1.6 billion 2019 budget calls for new investments in teacher salaries, staffing and curriculum.


Superintendent Clayton Wilcox proposal seeks a 15.2 percent increase in funding from Mecklenburg County for the district’s strategic plan. In his letter to the school board, Wilcox cited the district’s role in addressing economic mobility.

“Robust public education is the most important lever for change,” he said. “If we prepare our kids to succeed after high school, the whole community benefits. Educating all of our kids well, not just some of them, will directly improve economic mobility and opportunity. We have identified three areas of investment that will move us closer to this goal.”

The school board will vote on the budget in April before sending the proposal to county officials for review. Commissioners will vote on Mecklenburg’s contribution in June.

Wilcox focused the budget proposal on equity, people and support staffing.

“Our kids need investments in equity,” Wilcox said. “We must guarantee a viable curriculum across the district, focus on consistent instruction and high expectations, and prepare educators to maximize the resources they have.”

Wilcox’s budget includes $9.4 million in county funding, including $4.3 million to for curriculum and $3.7 million for cultural-proficiency training for staff and access to fine arts experiences for across the district.

Wage hikes for support staff are also included in the budget. Wilcox is requesting $32.5 million in salaries, retirement and health insurance rates and market adjustments.

“We must offer salaries to our educators that are not only adequate but are competitive, and we must provide higher wages for the cafeteria workers, assistants, custodians and others who serve our kids,” he said.

The budget would include $21.8 million to hire counselors, psychologists and social workers, boost school security, preventive maintenance and custodial staff. That amount includes $5.8 million for counseling support, $4.2 million for school security and $7.1 million for maintenance and custodians.

“We must provide a safe, welcoming environment to every student and monitor their social and emotional health in and out of schools,” Wilcox said.

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