Cotswold Families and Friends:
Today (5-4-11) the NC State House slammed the door on extending the temporary sales tax and passed a budget that decimates spending on public education. It is now more clear than ever, if we are going to rescue our schools, we’ll have to do it at the county level. Time is short. Take note of the critical dates listed below and commit to persuade our county commissioners to respond positively to the school board’s budget proposal.
Key facts: • An 8.8% reduction in state funding, along with the loss of Federal Recovery Act funds and level funding from the county, leaves CMS facing $80 – $100 million in cuts. • As many as 600 teachers could lose their jobs, class sizes will grow, equity programs will be scaled back, Bright Beginnings classes drastically reduced. • CMS is asking the county for $55 million above level funding in order to restore its five highest priority items—saving more than 700 classroom positions, 164 support staff and Bright Beginnings. • We could get almost that far simply by returning county funding to 08-09 levels! • Due to the property revaluations, the county could raise over $70 million in additional revenue by leaving the tax rate unchanged. (MeckFUTURE supports leaving the tax rate unchanged and responding positively to the school board’s funding request.)
Key dates: • May 10 – school board formally adopts CMS’s 11-12 budget • May 17 – county manager presents budget proposal • May 19 – public hearing on county budget• May – additional budget workshops• June – commissioners vote on county budget
What you can do: • Organize letter-writing parties for your community, neighborhood, house of worship, book club, etc. • Contact your county commissioner and three at-large commissioners yourself. • Plan on attending the May 19 public hearing on the county budget.