WE SUPPORT FULLY FUNDING THE CMS BUDGET
Fully Funding CMS Budget Request to Mecklenburg County
The Children’s Alliance has a long-standing concern over the lack of CMS professionals who work most closely with those we serve: School Counselors, Psychologists, and Social Workers. For example, CMS currently has approximately 138 school social workers spread across the system; that creates a student/social worker ratio of 1039 students for every one social worker. The nationally recognized ratio for effective services is one social worker for every 250 students. CMS is woefully deficient in that regard. At-risk students are being seriously neglected because critically needed attention and services are not being provided. This is a serious deficiency and creates problems for many students whose needs simply cannot be met.
In addition, NC does not fund a pay difference for a Master’s Level Social Worker and thus compensates Master’s Level staff the same as Bachelors Level Social Workers. This creates a significant challenge for CMS to attract Social Workers with advanced degrees. CMS must have the funds to attract and hire Social Workers with advanced degrees to meet the complex needs of our students.
CMS has requested an additional 10 school social workers, 2 psychologists, and 8 school counselors in their budget proposal. While these additions will fall short of meeting recommended ratio standards, these additional staff will allow CMS to serve significantly more students. These new positions will allow us to reduce the deficit in the existing ration, while serving more children in the upcoming school year.
County Manager Diori released her recommendation for the Mecklenburg County FY23 $2.1 billion budget on 5/19. She is recommending $19.9 million of the additional $40 million that CMS has asked for. In talking to Chairman Dashew from CMS that is $1 million less than CMS has in obligated funds (charter pass through, etc).
Not only does this impact CMS’s goal to have the highest-paid teachers in the state, BUT… Our specific concern is: It does not include additional funding for Mental Health Support Staff - 10 school social workers, 2 psychologists, and 8 school counselors.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Reach out to County Commissioners, send email or personally if you have a relationship.
Find out if the school you are involved with has adequate resources.
Share with your sphere of influence
Use social media #keepmyteachers #ourkidsdeserveteachers #cms
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT CMS
HOW CAN I EMAIL/CONTACT MY COUNTY COMMISSIONER?
Tell your story directly to the County Commissioners.
County Commissioners 2022
SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN
Share your why – Did you lose a favorite teacher to a better paying job? (Or ensure you don’t lose good staff?) Does your school desperately need maintenance? Are you concerned about lack of social-behavioral staff in schools? These are ALL items that WILL NOT be funded without the additional $20 mil from the County.
• Share your story on social media #KeepMyTeachers #CMS #MeckBOCC through 6/15 when the BOCC starts voting on the final budget.