Residents Rally for Education Priority

By Aundrea Cline-Thomas
News 14 Carolina

March 26, 2011

Watch the accompanying video here.

School Board member Tim Morgan along with advocacy group MeckEd hosted a community forum at Providence High School on Saturday. More than 100 people attended to hear about the status of education at the state level and voice their concerns to lawmakers.

“We need more control,” said parent Stacey Schuler. “When the state gives us funding and money it’s earmarked for certain reasons and sometimes that’s not what the schools need.”

As Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools prepare to cut more than $100 million next school year, meeting attendees shared ideas about how that may be changed. State lawmakers are in the process of creating a budget that, for another year, is expected to come with deep cuts to education. Where those cuts will be made is still unknown, as the new Republican majority is at odds with Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposals.

“Our goal will be to try to balance this budget without a tax increase. Because if we have a tax increase in the middle of a recession all it will do is exacerbate and prolong the recession,” said Sen. Bob Rucho.

However, paying more taxes received applause from the crowd, only in the event it would secure a better educational system for their children. Sen. Rucho said the solution is not simply about giving money to schools, but about rebuilding the state system.

“When you don’t see the results improve the more money you put in the system, you need to look at your system and that’s what we’re in the process of doing,” said Rucho.

The school system is still left in limbo, as they prepare to cut 1,000 jobs and $100 million of their budget. The state lawmakers saif they plan to have a final budget earlier than the June 30 deadline. However, that is still late for CMS since the District would have already issued layoff notices to more than 1,500 employees.

If CMS gets more money than expected, then some of those let go will be re-hired.

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