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Hattabaugh: No Teacher Layoffs Next Year For CMS, But Maybe Raises

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has been sending out lay-off notices to teachers for the past three years. But CMS Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh says he doesn't expect that will happen this year. In fact, he plans to ask the county commission for extra money for teacher raises. Budgets are still tight. CMS expects another $7 million cut in state funds next year. But Hattabaugh doesn't think that will mean layoffs, at least for teachers and other school staff. Instead, he thinks the district could shed that money by not hiring for all vacancies that come up when teachers retire or leave the district. Hattabaugh still expects to cut some department's budgets by 2-3 percent. So where would the money come from for raises? Hattabaugh will push the school board to ask for extra funds from the county for what he calls a reasonable increase. "I think it's time that we discontinue taking it on the chin every year. It's time to not apologize for asking what our teachers and our staff deserves. Many are doing double duty. We've been cutting and many are carrying on multiple functions," says Hattabaugh. It's been three years since teachers last received a raise or bonuses for student growth. Hattabaugh plans to lay out specifics in January when the board starts its budget process.