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“Together, We Will Rise!” Local School Board Approves 2022-2023 Budget Request

Cumberland County Schools’ (CCS) proposed budget for the 2022-2023 school year focuses on lifting up every student, every school, and every premier professional throughout the district and rising above the negative impacts of COVID-19. The Cumberland County Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr.’s recommended budget request titled “Together, We Will Rise,” at the regular monthly Board meeting Tuesday evening.

As part of his presentation to the Board, Dr. Connelly recommended how to allocate the $699 million proposed district budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The district receives the majority of its funds from state and federal funding sources, which are often earmarked for a specific purpose. 

From addressing learning loss to supporting the social-emotional needs of our students, Dr. Connelly detailed the district’s commitment to leveraging the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, which will expire in 2024, to address critical needs in the school system. Tier 1 PASE schools, which are designated as low-performing by the state, will continue to receive increased support and resources from the district.

“Despite a global pandemic that has ravaged our world, we remain resolute in the commitments detailed in our strategic plan—Together, We Will Rise!,” said Dr. Connelly. “We are reimagining the Cumberland Commitment and working innovatively to educate our young people.”
 
Based on Dr. Connelly’s recommendation, the Cumberland County Board of Education is requesting $88.2 million in local funding from the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. This represents an increase of 6.2 percent or $5.1 million over the 2021-2022 appropriation. 
 
The majority of the local funding request focuses on investing in the district’s 6,000-plus employees and implementing cost-of-living and supplement increases. The Board is seeking approval from Cumberland County Commissioners to launch a funding model to support the implementation of competitive salary and supplement schedules for CCS employees. The proposed salary schedule complies with the state-mandated $15.00 per hour minimum pay for all employees, eliminates the salary compression in the present schedule and increases the local supplement of certified staff by an average of two percent.
 
Dr. Connelly highlighted the importance of hiring and retaining a talented workforce, “By investing in our premier professionals, we are investing in the success of our students. It is imperative that we recruit and retain high-quality educators and staff—their work directly impacts the success and, ultimately, the trajectory of our students’ lives.” 
 
With the unanimous approval of the nine-member Board of Education, the district’s local funding request will now be submitted to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners by May 15 for consideration.
 
To learn more about CCS’ proposed budget, visit www.budget.ccs.k12.nc.us.