Teachers and parents urged Mecklenburg County Commissioners Monday night to increase the county’s local teacher pay supplement during a public hearing on the county’s budget.
CMS requested $40 million more than this year. County Manager Dena Diorio recommended spending an extra $24 million, but that does not include more money for teacher pay.
Dozens filled the room wearing red in solidarity with teachers.
“We implore you to please support the CMS budget, please fully fund the budget,” said West Charlotte High School Teacher Brenda Cofield. “We’re going to be here for those children, but please be here for those children and for us.”
“I just ask that we have a champion on this county commission, who stands for our teachers. Who understands it is our job, to do all we can to recruit and retain the best and the brightest teachers,” said Ray McKinnon, whose wife is a CMS teacher.
The budget the county manager recommended would come with a three-quarters of a penny tax rate increase.
“I’m not surprised that the teacher supplements I was looking for weren’t in the budget because we need more information from the superintendent on what that would look like, so we can gauge how much more in teacher supplement we should have in our budget,” said Commissioner Trevor Fuller last month.
The board will meet to discuss the budget on Thursday and a final vote is expected June 19.