CMS board approves $2.1 billion budget proposal


The district’s 2023-2024 proposed budget includes:

• A bigger request from the county to fund education.
• Pay raises for teachers and other CMS employees.
• A one-time infusion of federal Covid funding.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved a $2.1 billion proposed operating budget on Tuesday – a total that includes a $227.4 million infusion of federal Covid funding.

The CMS budget seeks $596.9 million from Mecklenburg County, an increase of $39 million, or 7%, over last year’s county appropriation.

County commissioners must approve the CMS budget, and commissioners in the past have been reluctant to sign off on large county increases to fund CMS.

Once approved, the CMS budget will cover the district’s 2023-2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The proposed budget includes 5.5% in state raises for teachers, other certified staff, principals, and noncertified staff. The state budget is now making its way through the General Assembly.

The proposal also includes $8.4 million to support enrollment growth in charter schools and the opening of two new elementary schools. The state mandates that $6.8 million of the $8.4 million be passed through to charter schools, CMS said in a statement.

“Our proposed budget is focused on building district capacity, which will benefit all of our students,” said 

Interim Superintendent Crystal Hill said the proposed budget is focused on “building district capacity.”

“Increased money for our employees, especially for teachers, will help us fill teacher vacancies and hard-to-staff positions – which will directly benefit our students,” she said in a statement. 

 CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew called the proposed salary increases for district employees “long overdue.”

“More increases are needed, particularly for starting teachers who don’t earn enough to live in Charlotte without spouses or roommates – but this is a substantial first step,” she said.

Next Steps:

  • The district’s proposed budget will be presented to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners on May 11.
  • Commissioners will receive the county manager’s recommended operating and capital budgets on May 18, which will include the district’s funding.
  • Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the county budget on May 24.
  • Commissioners will vote on the budget on June 6.

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