CHCCS “Probably” Won’t Get All Of Requested Funding For Teacher Pay

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will likely not get all of the $4.5 million they have asked for to increase teacher salaries in the district.

Both Chair of the Board of Orange County Commissioners Earl McKee and commissioner Mark Dorosin echoed these sentiments in a joint meeting Tuesday night.

“As commissioner Dorosin mentioned, full request probably not going to be accommodated,” McKee said. “But I know we’re going to make every effort to do everything we can, just as you all make every effort to do everything you can.”

While no decision has been officially made, comments made by the commissioners were not good news for the Board of Education, which has already committed to a total of $4.5 million to increase teacher pay.

No matter what the outcome of the budget, CHCCS is obligated to pay that money.

“The most important thing we can do is make sure we’ve got the highest quality teachers in every single classroom,” chair of the CHCCS Board of Education James Barrett said. “It’s what’s going to make a difference in the achievement gap and everything we do.”

The rush to raise the teacher supplement was due in part to Wake County raising their supplement last year.

Wake already had a higher supplement than CHCCS, but assistant superintendent Todd LoFrese said the gap in wages between the two counties would make it even harder for the district to keep and attract quality teachers.

“These are real dollars,” he said. “A teacher earning what we’re able to offer teachers this year ranges somewhere between $1,400 to $2,500 less than what Wake County currently offers teachers.”

While commissioners said they were sympathetic and wanted to commit to raising teacher pay, McKee said there were concerns about raising taxes.

“In the back of my mind I have to play out the possibility of a four to five cent tax increase this year, with the sure and certain knowledge that a bond in November and borrowing part of that funding will drive another three to five cents.”

McKee said the increase would be over a longer period of time, but it also doesn’t factor any other increase in the county funding.

“I know you hear from people that say ‘raise my taxes because I want my kids to have the best education,'” commissioner Renee Price said. “But I’m also hearing people say ‘this is hurting me, I can’t do it and if you raise taxes more I’m going to leave the county.”

If CHCCS doesn’t get the amount they’re looking for, they will have to make up the difference in budget cuts.

Barrett said the board will not comment publicly about specific cuts at this time because he said he doesn’t want to alarm any employees.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/chccs-probably-wont-get-all-of-requested-funding-for-teacher-pay

School Boards Prepare To Present To County Commissioners

Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will present their 2016-2017 budgets to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in a meeting Tuesday night.

The presentation will be the next formal step for CHCCS, in its attempt to get approval for an additional $4.5 million to its budget for the next school year.

The county commissioners make the final decision on the budgets for the school districts in the county.

The additional money in the CHCCS budget will go towards increasing teacher pay.

In North Carolina, teachers are given a base salary mandated by the state, but individual school districts provide a supplement to that salary.

CHCCS has already approved increase its supplement for new teachers from 12 percent to 16 percent, meaning that no matter what the county commissioners decide, the school system will still have to pay the additional $4.5 million.

Members of the Board of Education said that although the move is risky, it was done to make CHCCS more competitive for recruiting and retaining top teachers.

Wake County increase its teacher supplement to 16 percent last year, which is what prompted CHCCS to change its policy.

Board members said they needed to formally make the change before getting approval from the commissioners because this time of  year is recruiting season for new teachers and they wanted to make sure they made their best offers to potential candidates.

The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Building.

http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/school-boards-prepare-to-present-to-county-commissioners

Julie Hennis: Hometown Hero

Julie Hennis is Tuesday’s Hometown Hero.

Julie is a volunteer coordinator for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System.  Recently, she was involved in a “Day of Service.”  The Orange/Chatham Board of Realtors got together for a day of community work at Chapel Hill High School.  Construction, Renovations, Repairs, and Beautification.

You can nominate your own Hometown Hero.  WCHL has honored local members of our community everyday since 2002.

 

http://chapelboro.com/lifestyle/hometown-heroes/julie-hennis-hometown-hero

Commissioners To Hold Public Hearing On Upcoming Bond

The Board of Orange County Commissioners will be taking public comment on the upcoming bond Tuesday night.

It will be the first of two public hearings on the bond which, if passed in November, will be the largest in county history at $125 million.

Up to $120 million dollars is planned to make necessary health and safety upgrades to Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. This would be the first step in acquiring the funding needed to finance over $300 million in repairs.

Another $5 million dollars is expected to go towards affordable housing.

The meeting will begin at seven p.m. at the Southern Human Services Building in Chapel Hill.

A second hearing will be held in Hillsborough May 5 at the Whitted Building, which will also begin at 7:00 p.m.

http://chapelboro.com/news/local-government/commissioners-to-hold-public-hearing-on-upcoming-bond

At CHCCS, Celebrating Local Volunteers

UNC-Chapel Hill has a well-earned reputation for public service, with thousands of students volunteering in our community every year – and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School district is recognizing them during National Volunteer Week.

National Volunteer Week runs from April 10-16. CHCCS volunteer coordinator George Ann McCay says she actively recruits UNC students to help out in the schools every year – and the students respond, working with students all the way from kindergarten to graduation.

McCay brought two volunteers onto WCHL this week to discuss their experiences with Aaron Keck: Mary Whatley, who works with ESL students at Carrboro High School, and Hayden Vick, who works with first and third graders at Estes Hills Elementary.

 

If you’d like to volunteer in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, visit the district’s volunteer page or stop by the volunteer office above the PTA Thrift Shop on Main Street in Carrboro.

http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/its-national-volunteer-week

Jim Wise: Hometown Hero

Jim Wise is Thursday’s Hometown Hero.

He is a Chapel Hill High School Student Assistance Program Specialist  and SAVE Advisor.  Jim coordinates “mock crash” events for high school students in the community.

The events are a result of collaboration between the school system, SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) chapters at East Chapel Hill High and Chapel Hill High and many of our local emergency responders and agencies.

Students listen to speakers from law enforcement, emergency medicine, and the father of a young person who was killed by an impaired driver.  After the assembly, the students witness a crash scene reenactment.

 

The goal is to promote safe driving.

You can nominate your own Hometown Hero.  WCHL has honored local members of our community everyday since 2002.

http://chapelboro.com/lifestyle/hometown-heroes/jim-wise-hometown-hero

Realtors’ “Day Of Service” At Chapel Hill HS

This Monday, April 11, dozens of local realtors will head to Chapel Hill High School for a “Realtor Day of Service,” performing maintenance work to spruce up the campus from 9 am to noon.

They’re with the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors, working with the CHCCS volunteer office. According to a district spokesperson, they’ll be tackling a variety of projects, including:

– Cleaning up, reorganizing and staging the trophy cases in the commons area between the cafeteria and the main gym, and down the hall to the lower gym;
– Painting the exterior wall of the main gym concession stand with spirited gold and black paint;
– Weeding, cleaning out and mulching the gardens in front of Hanes Auditorium;
– Weeding, cleaning out and mulching the memorial gardens near the front parking lot.

Orange Chatham Association of Realtors CEO Cub Berrian, CHCCS Volunteer Coordinator Julie Hennis, and Laura Malinchock of the Chapel Hill High School PTA joined Aaron Keck on WCHL to discuss the “Day of Service.”

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-town/realtors-day-of-service-at-chapel-hill-hs

CHCCS Takes Risk To Increase Teacher Pay

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Board of Education is committing to raising teacher pay in the district, but is doing so at their own risk.

The Board of Education has now officially locked themselves into raising the teacher supplement provided by the school system from 12 percent to 16 percent starting in August.

Teachers in North Carolina are given a base salary determined by the state, but individual school systems provide supplements .

“We are committing to that match increase without knowing what the outcome will be from the county commissioners,” board member Andrew Davidson said. “We are willing to accept the budgetary consequences of making that choice.”

The board is preparing to ask the Orange County Board of Commissioners for nearly $4.5 million dollars to increase their budget, $1.8 million going towards the raise in supplements.

Because the Board of Education approved the raise in their meeting Thursday, should the commissioners decide to reject the increase, the school system would still be responsible for paying the new salaries.

“It’s not something we take lightly,” board chairman James Barrett said. “But it’s also critically important for the recruitment period and just the time of the year we’re in given the budget cycle works, but we need teachers in August.”

The move comes after Wake County Schools raised its supplement to 16 percent last year.

Members of the board felt the school system would have problems competing for talent or retaining their teachers if they offered lower pay than Wake County.

“This is also the season where teachers who have been here with us for a couple of years will now have reassurance that their salary come August here will be at 16 percent supplement,” Barrett said.

The district will present its proposed budget to the commissioners April 26.

http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chccs-takes-risk-to-increase-teacher-pay

CHCCS Prepares To Ask County For Nearly $4.5 Million

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education is getting ready to ask Orange County for an additional $4.465 million to help with increases in teacher salaries.

Superintendent Tom Forcella said these increases were necessary to help recruiting new teachers and retaining current ones.

“As we are now in a process of recruitment and going to these fairs where the candidates are, it would really help if we could share with them that we have a commitment to increasing our local supplement,” he said.

Teacher’s salaries are determined two ways. First they are given a base salary set by the state, which the district expects to rise by five percent this year. That increase is estimated to total around $2.1 million.

Teachers also receive a supplement decided by individual districts. CHCCS is looking to increase its supplement for new teachers from 12 percent to 16 percent to keep up with an increase in Wake County last year. That increase is expected to total around $1.8 million.

Board chairman James Barrett said they need to be clear with the county as to why they need this funding.

“They need to know, here’s what the state is ‘doing’ to us,” he said. “Not because of cuts, because those may still come, but because of the salary increases from the state, that has an impact on what (Orange County) has to provide. And then there’s an additional impact from the match Wake effort.”

The board will meet again April 7 to approve the supplement increase.

Once approved, the district will have to pay for the increase, whether or not the county commissioners give the funding the district is asking for.

“The 4.4 million, almost all of it will be non-discretionary to us and so therefore anything less than that, we will have to make reductions in people to match whatever we don’t get out of that 4.4 million,” Barrett said.

But even if the commissioners give the district all the money they’re asking for, they could still be at the mercy of the state increases.

The district expects a five percent increase in salaries, but assistant superintendent Todd LoFrese said state could bump the increase to seven or eight percent.

“If that is what occurred we would need to come back to the board with a way to balance our budget,” he said. “Because that would put us, assuming we got our entire request from the county commissioners, that would put us all of the sudden $1 million behind.”

The district will present its proposed budget to the commissioners April 26.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/chccs-prepares-to-ask-county-for-nearly-4-5-million

5K For Education Is Saturday

This Saturday morning, hundreds of runners (and joggers and walkers) will take to the streets of Chapel Hill for the annual 5K For Education.

Organized every year by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation, the 5K begins on East Franklin Street and winds around campus and nearby neighborhoods before circling back to McCorkle Place. The event begins at 9 am, with registration starting at 7:30 at McCorkle Place.

WCHL’s Aaron Keck (who’s MC’ing the event) spoke Thursday with Christine Cotton of the Public School Foundation.

 

Register for the 5K For Education here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-town/5k-for-education-is-saturday