The state education budget, expected to get final approval on Wednesday, got a glum reception from leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other public-school advocates.
The lack of raises for teachers and other state employees, a $120 million cut in state spending for teacher assistants, and the shifting of $10 million to vouchers for private schools were described by many as a backward move for a state once known for valuing public education.
“I don’t know how we’re going to attract and retain the best and brightest,” said CMS board Chairman Mary McCray, a retired teacher. “I don’t see anything in that budget that’s saying to employees, ‘I value the time and the service that you put in.’ ”
One of the biggest questions – how many CMS assistants will lose jobs because of the cuts – remained unanswered at Tuesday’s school board meeting. Jonathan Sink, a CMS attorney who serves as the legislative liaison, said officials are still looking for ways to offset the state cuts and avoid laying off assistants.