Tuesday May 11, 2010 | CMS Budget: A Different Perspective

May 10, 2010 at 11:08 am | Posted in Coming Up | 20 Comments

As the CMS budget process continues, we take a look at the continuing news of cuts and strategies to provide services and save jobs, and we’ll look at how the CMS Budget compares with the budget of Wake County’s school system. We’ll be joined by the education reporter from the Charlotte Observer and a local education advocate to take a look inside the process and the politics surrounding it.
Kathy Ridge
– Executive Director of MeckEd
Ann Doss Helms – Reporter covering education for the Charlotte Observer

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charlotte Talks, Web Editor. Web Editor said: RT @CharlotteTalks: How Charlotte Mecklenburg schools compare to Wake County's and how both are grappling with less money, Tuesday. http://ow.ly/1J7ht […]

  2. Aren’t our African American students performing better overall than Wake’s African American students? Also our high poverty kids? Also, haven’t Wake’s scores for these groups been flat for several years, as opposed to CMS’s scores.

  3. Teacher layoffs I can understand and may unfortunately be a part of the new reality. The state laws for retention need to be changed based on performance where the logic I’m sure was originally based on a correlation w/ credentials – but may not now or in each case.

    You are looking for suggestions so here you go: What about looking for some help from the businesses in the area that we keep hearing are cash-heavy. Give them future breaks (basically an option) on county/state taxes for loaning funds to CMS today. Construction costs for new schools are as low as they are going to be. Now is the time for capital investment. Also let businesses like Duke, Wells, BofA, Nucor, etc. do some branding in the schools too. It helps to put their message in front of parent/employees and may provide a financial tax incentive for the firms as well. Businesses donate to secondary schools (through individuals – Sloan, Carnegie, etc.) for this and that business school or law school why not primary schools?

  4. To the question about lengthening the school year — you assume that more time in the classroom would translate into better achievement. To Ms. Ridge’s point on school reform – how do we know that what we are doing in the classroom is efficient to begin with? What if we could accomplish more with less time if we re-think about the curriculum and how we present it.

  5. As a frequent Charlotte Tlks listener, and one who is grateful for Kathy Ridge and Ann Doss Helms (and the Observer) to help us understand the CMS budget crisis. The Mecklenburg PTA Council, of which I have the honor of serving as president, would like to invite citizens to read the “Save Our Teachers” petition, located at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/saveourteachers.html. We are requesting the NC state legislature to grant local education communities some calendar flexibility, (possibly even temporary – a couple of years), including the option of temporary furlough days to cope with our current budget demands. Although we hate to see public education lose funding of any sort, we feel this is a reasonable temporary tool to help the district deal with our current problems. Please review it and sign if you also find it a reasonable response to a critical problem.

    • It would have been great if the two ladies would have been more factual. See my comments below.

  6. Instead of envying Triangle area achievements Charlotte should examine Gaston County Schools as a model to determine the real purposes of public education.
    #1 Free daycare for age 5+ dependents so population can subsist on unemployment, off the books work and sub-par jobs. (Includes daily feed of empty calories)
    #2 Ranking:sorting the bottom 70% socioeconomic as to career and social standing.The already advantaged are rewarded while the rest are thwarted. As a side effect it makes for a high military enlistment rate even in times of unpopular war.
    #3 Social control: Instilling jingoism and breaking the spirit through shaming.
    #4 Silencing critique: Teaching illogic as logic.Undermining reasoning.
    #5 Happy consumerism: Instilling worship of materiality and celebrity. Sports are an important ingredient.
    #6 Imparting rudimentary skills to serve employers.
    (Addin’, obedient readin’, signing name, answerin’ phone, textin’, sextin’, laughin’ at funny texts and tweets as directed)

    Most alternative Gaston education consists of Christian Academies where scientific misinformation, racial prejudice, unrealistic morals and in-group/out-group predatory ethics are imparted.

    I’m sure Greater Charlotte can aspire to the Gaston model and the solid South can endure for ever and ever, whether on the shores of Michigan or in some remote Pacific island textile factory. Heil Walmart! Heil Xe! Peter Gorman seems innoculated with more commercialism and classism than even he might have suspected of himself. Stress brings out the true personality.

    Damn, Mike (above poster): Interest on borrowed money can’t benefit the impoverished borrower, or poor taxpayers. You’d best apply some child labor and let these little chain gangs build their own prisons, er schools. Business methods never solve structural social problems. Duke Power has roots in infrastructure and just needs nuclear plants at public expense, but BofA and Nucor can go to Dubai or Singapore. They don’t care about schools. The financial sector lives in a floating city just as was described in 18th Century allegories of social critique. (Swift, Burke et al) It only goes to show how people never (are allowed to) learn.

  7. It is simply not true that the public did not make any proposals.
    Here is one:
    Please click on this link http://www.cmsteachers.org/?s=how-can-cms-save-money

  8. Correction to one of Ms. Ridge’s statement: She stated that some 80% of CMS’ budget is personnel. OK. Incorrect is that some 90% of that are salaries for teachers. The correct number is about 50%.
    Fact is that teachers AND Teaching Assistants represent less than 50% of the number of CMS employees. However, in terms of total position cuts, the 50% are hit with 80% of the cuts.
    There were other incorrect statements.
    Is anyone interested to check out the facts?

  9. As a middle school band director, I do not understand the complaints about “pay for play.” Band and music programs have been under “pay for play” policies for many years. My students pay $40 a year for books, uniforms and supplies, in addition to the rental fees on their instruments. Many high school marching band programs charge their students up to $200+ per year to run the marching band program. As a high school student 15 years ago I paid $250.00 per year to be in marching band. Arts programs have been underfunded for years. Band directors spend countless hours fund raising to keep their programs running. If band directors and band students can raise funds to run their programs, so can coaches and athletes. In an ideal world, all programs would be properly funded so we can concentrate on our primary focus of teaching the children.

    • Thank you J.Miller to bring some reality in this grazy discussion of outsiders who go by hearsay and stories from the CMS Ivory Tower.

  10. A couple of more facts not mentioned on the show concerning Wake County better performance:
    – 2008/09 Four year graduation rate in Wake 78.4%, in CMS 66.1% !!!
    – CMS has four low-performing schools, Wake none.
    – Wake has 1.5 times more Schools of Distinctiion than CMS (50 vs. 34)
    – Cost per pupil in Wake $7,981 vs. $8,162 in CMS (according to DPI (more than 25M$ more!!!)
    – Poverty: 40 vs. 2 schools – We all know that this is a matter of counting method. (Remember the statements related to Fraud by School Board members?)

    Why not talk about such facts?

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