Dr. Connelly’s recommended budget focuses on meeting the needs of the whole child
Fayetteville – The superintendent’s recommended 2019-2020 budget was shared with the Cumberland County Board of Education during its Finance Committee meeting earlier today.
Clyde Locklear, the associate superintendent of CCS’ Business Operations, provided an overview of the budget request, which recommends that the Board ask for an increase of $8.9 million in local funding from the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, for a total request of $89,041,982. This represents an increase of 11.09 percent over last year’s appropriation for the Cumberland County Schools (CCS).
- To address the needs of the whole child, the school system is requesting funding to increase the number of social workers, school counselors and school nurses to the nationally recommended average over six years.
- More than one-third of the proposed increase in local funding can be attributed to the projected legislative impact on CCS’ budget, such as state salary increases and class size phase-in requirements, which are factors outside of the school system’s control.
- The proposed increase also includes funds to support the growth of English as a Second Language (ESL) and Exceptional Children populations, inflation, the continuity of the school safety watch program and other district initiatives, the recruitment and retention of principals at some of the most challenging schools, and the implementation of effective family and community engagement efforts that will increase student success.
“This budget recommendation represents the collective voice of our students, parents, educators, staff members and community partners,” said CCS’ Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr. “To adequately address the needs of the whole child and plan for the success of all students, we must increase the number of social workers, school counselors and school nurses that serve our students. Food insecurity, access to health care, and social and emotional challenges cannot be overlooked—they all impact the success of students in the classroom setting. We realize that for some, this request may seem large, but when we think about the future of Cumberland County, an investment in our children is the best investment and deposit we can make to continue being Cumberland Strong.”
Dr. Connelly has led a collaborative budget preparation process. Cabinet members and other district leaders have been involved in this year’s budget process. District departments created budget business cases to describe, in detail, the needs throughout the school system.
The school system is required to submit a budget request before the strategic plan is finalized and approved by the Board of Education. However, data gathered from Dr. Connelly’s comprehensive CLC3 Listening Tour, district surveys, diverse focus groups and accreditation reports have guided the priorities of the superintendent’s recommended budget.
Understanding the importance of being good stewards of public school funds, district leaders analyzed current budget expenditures and identified $757,000 in existing resources that can be repurposed to strategically focus on some of the most pressing needs throughout our school system.
“We are grateful for the continued commitment that our County Commissioners have made to our students,” said Dr. Connelly. “As we continue to endure cuts from the federal and state levels, we will need additional support at the county level to adequately fund our schools. This budget recommendation to address the educational and social-emotional needs of the whole child is directly connected to students’ success in life and the economic outlook of Cumberland County.”
Over the next few weeks, Board members will review the superintendent’s budget request, receive input from the public, make any necessary adjustments and submit a budget request to Cumberland County Government.