CMS raises for teachers, staff include retroactive increase and bonus pay

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The average Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher will see a 2.5% pay raise, retroactive to July 1, under the district’s $2.2 billion operating budget finalized Tuesday.

District-wide, and based on North Carolina’s state budget approved late last year, all teachers and instructional staff will get a 1.3% pay increase and a $300 bonus, if they were employed by Jan. 1. An additional bonus has been approved for qualifying employees.

The board of education’s final budget, which includes $472.1 million in temporary federal money to address COVID-19 impacts, was delayed until the state budget was adopted in November.

“We are glad to have completed the full budget process,” board chair Elyse Dashew said. “Although this was a formality, it’s an important part of the total budget process we do each year.”

Every teacher and instructional and support staff member will receive a $300 bonus. Other personnel, including psychologists and school counselors, will receive monthly supplements, according to budget documents.

Principals employed as of Dec. 31, 2021, will receive 2.5% raises. Principals employed as of Jan. 1 will get $1,800 bonuses.

Occupational and physical therapists will receive 1.3% raises. Non-certified staff will receive 2.5% increases and CMS board members also will receive 2.5% raises.

Non-certified instructional substitutes will receive an increase in pay of $98 per day in accordance with state legislation, and the daily rate for certified instructional substitutes will increase to $126 per day

“The CMS team has taken on even greater responsibility at a time when they already were overburdened,” Superintendent Earnest Winston told the board. “To them we say thank you, but we understand that is not enough.”

In April 2021, the board approved a $1.77 billion budget that included a proposed 3% raise for staff, the Observer reported. But that spending wasn’t finalized until Tuesday night — a few months after state legislators approved a statewide spending plan.

“Overcoming the obstacles our students face is a community challenge,” Winston said. “We believe our community is up to the task. That is why we must continue to ask our partners in Mecklenburg County and our state legislators to work with us in making real differences in the lives of our students.”

Also approved were two enterprise-fund budgets: an $80.6 million School Nutrition Services budget and an $8.7 million After School Enrichment Program budget.

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