The Funding Dispute Between CMS And Mecklenburg County Commissioners Has Come To An End

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education and Mecklenburg County Commissioners reached an agreement on the withheld funds after mediations. The county will pay $56 million in full, plus an additional $11.1 million. It will also pay $1 million to update the CMS website. In return, the CMS Board of Education agreed to place increased focus on student outcomes and will work with a consultant on that implementation. The district will conduct annual evaluations on the superintendent based on their goals. The board will also make available school improvement plans online.

“I’m glad that whatever this conflict was would be resolved and that we can get on with the first school year after a pandemic,” says CMS teacher Steve Oreskovic.

The School Board challenged the commission’s decision to withhold $56 million from the district’s budget in June. School board members said the county wasn’t meeting its requirement to provide sufficient funding, arguing jobs could be cut if the money doesn’t come through. But county leaders argued they were already providing far more money to the district than what’s required. Justin Parmenter is a 7th-grade teacher in CMS. He says he’s glad some of the money will be going to provide sustainable leadership in the district.

“If you think about the importance that a principal and an assistant principal has been providing stability for staff in terms of retaining teachers, of affective discipline, creating the culture that we want to have in school, those positions are incredibly important,” Parmenter says.

WCCB asked Parmenter if he thought the funds are enough:

“I think if you were to ask any classroom teacher do they have all of the resources that they need to do their job, many of them would say no that they don’t.”