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CMS School Board Members Set To Begin Budget Talks

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CMS budget discussions begin Wednesday night with the unveiling of the superintendent’s proposed spending plan for next fiscal year.

Officials are closed-lip on what the budget includes, but a pay raise for teachers will be in the asking. Frank Barnes, CMS’ chief accountability officer, said in order for students to improve academically, they all have to have access to top-notch teachers. He said that’s why they will ask the board to approve an increase in the local supplement for teachers’ salaries in the budget.

Credit Gwendolyn Glenn
Frank Barnes, CMS chief accountability officer, wants a pay raise for teachers

“Our initial budget proposal, which will be presented to our school board on Wednesday, will include a set of investments we believe will put better tools in the hands of our teachers," Barnes said. "[We will] ask for a pay increase to be able to retain our most highly effective teachers and attract better teachers."

Barnes said that the pay raise will not come without expectations. National test scores released Tuesday, showed few gains in math and reading proficiency for the district's fourth and eighth graders. Barnes said for that to change, teachers who need it will have to take advantage of assistance the district will provide to help them improve their skills.

“If after a teacher specifically has been given the opportunity to improve performance, to align their skills and disposition with the students they have in front of them, and those investments haven’t yielded fruit, we will have to help teachers find either better fits or other careers,” Barnes said.

CMS school board members will begin deliberations on the budget Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the government center.

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.