Schools Facing Uncertainty Awaiting State Budget
CHARLOTTE, NC – Just over a week until Charlotte-Mecklenburg Students head back to school and CMS has almost 250 teacher vacancies to fill. On top of that, the district is still waiting to find out if they’ll be able to pay teacher assistants.
“We’re a billion dollar business. And what billion dollar business would start their fiscal year without clarity around the revenue stream?” asks CMS Superintendent Ann Clark.
Frustrations around the budget are nothing new for school leaders. But this year – CMS and other North Carolina districts are poised open their doors – without a final state budget.
“We really are going to need.. final decisions,” Clark says.
Up in the air, are the jobs of 539 teacher assistants in CMS. Some leaders in the State Senate say they want to cut positions to be able to hire more full time teachers.
Former CMS Board Member and current State Senator Joyce Waddell told WCCB this week she’s disappointed with how slow the process has been. “There are a lot of unanswered questions. And this is very unacceptable to me, as a Senate Representative, and I’ve let that be known,” Waddell says.
Lawmakers have passed a continuing resolution that will fund CMS under last year’s levels through the end of August. Ann Clark says she hopes lawmakers can reach some resolution as soon as possible.
“In fairness to our employees, to have clairty around, you know, their employment status,” Clark says.
Meanwhile, the CMS website shows there are still 244 teacher job openings. Clark says they’ve identified candidates for all but 135 of those positions. Classrooms that don’t have a teacher – will begin the year with a substitute.
Clark says CMS is aggressively recruiting from states that have laid off teachers because of budget cuts.