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Teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools discuss challenges and hopes for upcoming year

Classroom teacher from CMS 0215.jpg
Ann Doss Helms
/
WFAE
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools classroom in Feb. 2021.

The new school year begins for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students on August 29. But the school system faces a barrage of challenges.

The pool of certified teachers is dangerously shallow,” said CMS’ chief human resources officer, Christine Pejot. While potential bonuses and raises aim to improve retention, in July there were 441 teacher vacancies at CMS — about the same time in 2021, there were only 123, according to The Observer.

Meanwhile, last year's test scores for 3rd graders were below expectations, advocates argue the new proposed state budget doesn't provide enough funding for public education, and guns appeared on school property at a record rate.

So, what's all that mean for the classroom?

We sit down with CMS teachers to get their perspective on morale, pay, vacancies and much more.

GUESTS

Nhora Gómez-Saxon, Spanish teacher at South Mecklenburg High School, founder and co-chair of the Latin American Education Committee

Rae LeGrone, art teacher at Olympic High School, vice president of Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators

Carla Aaron-Lopez, art teacher at Whitewater middle school, Charlotte-based visual artist

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.