CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 24, 2020 — Earnest Winston, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, presented the 2020-2021 budget proposal to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education March 24. The proposed operating budget seeks a $538 million appropriation from Mecklenburg County.
The budget proposal comes during an unparalleled health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, a state budget was not enacted for the current year, and there is again uncertainty surrounding the timing of a new state budget.
“Despite the unknown challenges we face, we are committed to looking ahead and preparing for the future needs of our students and staff,” Winston said.
The budget proposal asks for local investment for sustaining operations, employees, student growth and program expansion.
Requests include $11.7 million for employee raises, including an increase in the minimum pay rate to $14.11 per hour for all hourly staff and increases in health insurance and retirement rates.
The budget proposal provides $12 million for student growth and additional space costs. This amount includes $9 million to cover projected enrollment growth in charter schools. The remaining $2.1 million will cover maintenance and operating costs for a new school and additional facility space.
The proposal also requests $11.2 million for program expansion and new initiatives. Of that total, $3.4 million will allow the district to continue to add student support staffing, and social and emotional learning support. The request includes $1.9 million for Exceptional Children staffing and special education support. The remainder will cover safety and security, Building Services staffing and preventive maintenance.
The Board will vote on the budget at its April 28 meeting. The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners will make its funding decisions for CMS in June.