CMS Superintendent Designates May 1st As Optional Teacher Workday

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CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox says Wednesday, May 1, will be an optional teacher workday for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Wilcox said “the powerful voices of educators change student lives every day in classrooms across our community. Together, their collective voice will change communities across our state on May 1 as they advocate for investments in public education that matter most to our students and their futures.”

Superintendent Wilcox,  in collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, has waived attendance requirements on May 1 for all students and says no make-up day is needed or will be scheduled.

“Teachers and educators in this district are taking their own personal-leave days to join their colleagues in Raleigh on May 1,” Dr. Wilcox said. “The current count of teacher and staff absences is nearing 2,000 total. We expect the number of our educators participating in the May 1 rally to increase as the day draws closer. The safety, security and quality of teaching and learning are top priorities for CMS because these are fundamental expectations shared by our community’s students, families and staff every day. At this time, we cannot guarantee sufficient substitute-teacher capacity to ensure these priorities and this decision is based on those considerations.”

After School Enrichment Programs will be cancelled May 1st at all CMS schools.

CMS says May 1st field trip decisions will be based on availability of staff and for supervision and safety and families should check with designated school leaders.

High school athletic events will be held as planned on May 1st, but middle school athletic events are cancelled for May 1st and will be rescheduled for Monday May 13th.

Original Story:

CHARLOTTE, NC. — There’s no word if Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools will close on May 1st because of a teacher Rally in Raleigh. Wake County Schools announced today that it will close. More than 1,200 CMS teachers have asked to take the day off.

Better working conditions, more funding for supplies, security and teacher assistants are just a few of the reasons why CMS teachers like Melissa Easley are taking off May 1st for the Red For Ed rally in Raleigh.

“We are not walking out on your children, we are walking for your children. For all of our children,” says Easley.

CMS  closed for a similar rally last year. Thousands marched asking lawmakers for higher pay.

Governor Roy Cooper’s new budget plan calls for 9.1% increase in teacher pay. North Carolina lawmakers agreed to an average 6.2% pay raise for teachers last year. Mecklenburg county’s budget paid for a one-time 7% employee increase.

CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayon Wilcox’s new budget asks for $7.4 million to give teachers a five percent raise next school year. He also wants $8 million to increase the local teacher supplement to the highest in the state.

Wilcox is also asking for $5.8 million to pay for 27 social workers, 10 counselors, 10 psychologists, and eight coordinators.

The district is expected to make a decision by the end of the week.