CMS teachers, principals and staff to get pay raises

CMS teachers, principals and staff to get pay raises

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ teachers, principals and staff members will receive pay raises just before the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

On Tuesday, Board members unanimously approved the $1.8 billion operating budget that will see the average CMS teacher get a 4.2% pay raise. Principals and assistant principals will see a 4% pay raise, retroactive to July 1. (Last year’s operating budget was $1.7 billion.)

“This goes a long way in paying teachers and staff what they are worth and what they deserve, but it’s not all the way,” board member Rhonda Cheek said. “This does not end our advocacy to make sure that our staff is paid what they need to be paid.”

Why it matters: More than 2,100 teachers left the district since the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The teacher shortage is a national problem driven by burnout, low pay and increased demands.

In April, the board submitted its 2022-23 budget to be reviewed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. 

That budget included a request for $32.3 million to provide a 2.7% average increase for teachers, instructional support staff and assistant principals as well as a 2.5% increase for principals and non-certified staff. The county denied that request.

In July, the North Carolina General Assembly approved the state budget and set raises for certified staff at 4.2%, and raises for principals, assistant principals and non-certified staff at 4%.

“I was really worried when the county funding didn’t come through for that,” Jennifer De La Jara, an at-large board member, said of the pay increase.” I am so thrilled that, with the state funding, we are able to make that happen.”

Teacher assistants also will receive a raise, going from $15 an hour to $16.50 an hour. Board members will receive a 4% increase.

Staff members including secretaries, campus security officers, delivery drivers and mechanics will receive pay increases, too, but district officials did not specify a percentage.

With the budget focused on pay increases and the opening of two new schools — Palisades High School and Mint Hill Elementary School — spending in other areas had to be deferred or reduced, officials said.

The budget deferred additional spending on support staff for student wellness but provides a slight increase to support students for whom English is a second language.

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