The superintendent works with department heads, managers, school leaders, Board of Education members and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community to develop an operating budget recommendation to be presented to the Board of Education. The recommendation reflects the fiscal realities facing the district and the most pressing needs to help CMS prepare every student to graduate college and career ready. 

The Board discusses, reviews and may amend the superintendent’s budget proposal before approving a final recommendation, which is then submitted to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. The commissioners review the CMS budget request along with those from other county service providers such as parks and recreation and public libraries. The commission makes adjustments and ultimately approves a county budget that includes funding for CMS. If the allocated and requested amounts differ, CMS will adjust its budget plans. 

The CMS budget is affected by several factors, including:

  • The economy. Difficult financial times can reduce funding available from local, state and federal sources.

  • Enrollment. More students require more resources, including school staff.

  • New initiatives. These support the goals and objectives of Strategic Plan 2024.

  • Charter schools. Funding for these schools is included in the CMS budget but is not retained by CMS.