Monday, August 11, 2014

MeckEd comes out in support of sales tax referendum

The proposal to boost the Mecklenburg County sales tax to fund teacher pay raises and a lot of other projects has been controversial since county commissioners put it on November's ballot. But it now finds itself with one influential supporter.

MeckEd, a nonprofit advocacy group, put out a formal statement this morning backing the measure. It would boost the sales tax by a quarter cent, with 80 percent of the money going toward raises for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees, 7.5 percent for raises at Central Piedmont Community College, 7.5 percent for the Arts & Science Council, and the balance for libraries.

Here's the full statement from MeckEd:

MeckEd is committed to fair and competitive compensation for teachers across North Carolina and in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. While we applaud this year’s statewide teacher salary increase, there is more work to do. Given the increase in teacher turnover rates and the drop in North Carolina students entering colleges of education, it is imperative to invest in teacher salaries in every way possible.
As a community, we must help CMS attract and retain the best educators to our classrooms. MeckEd’s 2014 Public Policy Agenda calls for raising the state’s average teacher salary to the national average, in order to better compete for top teaching talent.
MeckEd endorses the referendum to raise teacher salaries, and we encourage all Mecklenburg County residents to support this important investment in our educators on November 4th.

The Charlotte Chamber may be deciding today whether to support the referendum. The organization has already said it won't be mounting a campaign to push it ahead of the election. Charlotte City Council members have been a little hesitant about it, too.

And of course, there was a little battle in Raleigh over whether to let Mecklenburg vote on it in the first place.


Wiley Coyote said...

We can all agree teachers should be paid a fair salary based on what the market in this state will bear.

We can all agree it's a matter of where you want to spend and where to cut, but to raise a sales tax locally to fund salaries is out of the question and will not move the achievement needle one iota.

When will MeckEd get off its high horse and address the real problems in public education that have nothing to do with what teachers make? Using ridiculous statements like "we must help CMS attract and retain the best educators to our classrooms" to infer that this will greatly immprove education is ludicrous.

I urge all taxpayers NOT TO INVEST in a tax scheme that will do nothing to improve education in CMS.

Look at this investment as if you were voting to put YOUR money into Solyndra, a Madoff fund or a Yugo manufacturing plant.

Anonymous said...

I would rather see teachers get a raise then give money to the "arts" or panther stadium... Hows the hall of fame doing? Is it still loosing money?

Anonymous said...

so Wiley, the choices are:

a) follow your lead and HOPE that CMS can attract and retain the best educators to our classrooms

b) support the referendum to continue our democracy, which includes holding accountable the people who spend our tax dollars, in a way that WILL stop the flow of good educators out of CMS (and the teaching profession)

Unlike Solyndra, Madoff, and Yugo, We The People have put CMS "management" in place and have the right, on each and every election day, to throw them out.

A vote for generating tax dollars and dictating what they should be used for is a good thing in my book. Doing nothing and standing on the sidelines to say "look how terrible CMS is" isn't a good thing.

Wiley Coyote said...

April 6, 2014

Mecklenburg County

More than $27 MILLION dollars still owed in property taxes in Mecklenburg County, Charlotte and surounding towns.

June 2014

Whitewater Center

Charlotte and Mecklenburg County also promised $9 million, though Mecklenburg is still withholding its final $1 million payment.

“I got the impression we were investors in a sense, and that at some point in time, if we put some money out to get you going, if you became profitable, we would see some dollars to support our own recreation programs.”

Wise said that’s the ultimate goal. But given the whitewater center’s still-somewhat-shaky ground, it’s not going to happen any time soon.

“My board can tell you and I would directly tell you we have a fiduciary duty to take care of the whitewater center first,” he said. “We’re probably two to three years away before we can step out of our very tight narrow band to do that.”

10 years and the Whitewater Center still isn't viable on its own.

August 2013


...But the Hall managed a better bottom line, losing $1.6 million in 2013 versus $1.8 million the year before.

"The reality is we will never make the attendance numbers we set. We want to make sure the facility is sustainable in the long term," Murray said.

Meaning it can lose money while CRVA venues as a whole make money, but Murray hopes that's temporary.

April 23, 2013


Charlotte's City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve an agreement to provide $87.5 million for upgrades to the team's 17-year-old stadium in exchange for a commitment to stay in North Carolina's largest city for at least another six years.

The council's action came on a voice vote. It means the city will contribute $87.5 million in hotel tax and food and beverage tax revenues for renovations to Bank of America Stadium, which is less than the NFL team was seeking for improvements.

June 12, 2013

UNCC 49ers

After shaking down the City of Charlotte for $87.5 million to help fund upgrades at Bank of American Stadium, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has forked over $10 million to apply his name to another football venue.

And some folks in Charlotte understandably are miffed.

Richardon’s donation to UNC Charlotte will result in the Charlotte 49ers playing in Jerry Richardson Stadium

I think the last point takes the cake.

Taxpayers on the hook for almost $90 MILLION to Jerry Richardson and he turns around and gives UNCC $10 MILLION.

And MeckEd wants taxpayers to fund teacher raises?

NO THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The calls are already going out to subs for the folks who just handed in resignations, or didn't. Combined with CMS HR orientation to new and lateral entry employees and we have an exodus, hopefully of colossal proportions. MeckEd has virtually no relevance in Charlotte, as do teachers and teacher's organizations. Ask Eric Guckian.

Wiley Coyote said...


I believe CMS HAS many of the best and brightest teachers.

The "best and brightest" label is worn out and has been used forever.

Yeah, we do have the right to throw out people on election day. The problem is, the same status quo re-elects the same failed politicians everytime.

The same "people" blindly vote for bonds believing "it's for the children"

Speaking of "it's for the children". Why is Vilma Leake still sitting around ANY dias?

Take back our schools said...

Ha, ha.... What makes you think CMS does not attract good hard working teachers into these schools. Do you not remember Strategic Staffing, all the ABC bonus money paid?

Have you ever not seen a tax MeckEd has not liked?

gwalkerruns said...

Wiley, it's one penny every 400 dollars. Charlotte has no choice but to boost the salaries. The teachers here live a short drive from SC, unlike many parts of NC. Also, living in an urban area means a higher cost of living than most of NC. Finally, teaching in an urban system is tougher. Putting all this together means a really tiny tax increase is necessary.

Wiley Coyote said...


I don't care if it's 1/4 cent per 1,000 dollars.

Sales/hospitality/etc. taxes should not be used to pay salaries.

Where teachers live isn't the problem and shouldn't be a talking point FOR increasing taxes.

Teaching in an urban system "is tougher"? So what you're saying is the extra money is combat pay?

Why is it tougher? I'm of the opinion that if it's "tough" to teach in CMS, then administration needs to get tougher than the kids and parents.

Only problem is, activist Eric Holder doesn't see it that way and wants to make it where there is no discipline.

Garth Vader said...


1. It's a penny per FOUR dollars, not FOUR HUNDRED.

2. NC teachers in higher cost-of-living areas receive a higher salary based on COL.

Anonymous said...

Blogger gwalkerruns said...
"Wiley, it's one penny every 400 dollars."

gwalkerruns: That should be $1.00 increase for every $400. Not one penny.

Wiley Coyote said...

The reason MeckEd supports putting the referndum on the ballot is they know most people are too ignorant of the facts and will blindly vote in favor of it.

Then they will tout how great a job they did and how wonderful the citizens of Mecklenburg County support and value education.

I'm sitting here right now looking at the front page of the Charlotte Observer in my office saved from 2005 and in big, bold typethe headline reads" "SCHOOL BONDS REJECTED; FIRST TIME IN 10 YEARS", Wednesday, November 9, 2005.

The "MeckEd type" faction who supported the bonds back then were stunned they were voted down.

Hopefully, if the downtown crowd succeeds in getting this farce of a plan on the ballot, Mecklenburg County voters will rise up and soundly defeat it.

It can be done.

Anonymous said...

What about all the F*$#%ing "Market Adjustment" personell approved by Morrison and the BofE?

Teachers finally get a bump that is not even close to their bleeping raise. Justified by the statement that "Its what is competitive in the private sector".

Now veteran teachers will not come close to the "maket adjustment" of the peer teachers nationwide. Run dont walk away from CMeS.

Anonymous said...

Folks, Even the Observer editorial board, which has never seen a tax increase it didn't like, is criticizing this particular attempt to raise taxes. Think about who has come up with this proposal (Fuller, Leake, Dunlap, Ratliff, and Clarke)--all fine examples of civic leadership.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, you make a statement that we shouldn't pay teachers more money because it won't make a difference in the educational outcome. You obviously do not understand how children learn. Some children come to school prepared to learn and others do not. Some children make adequate gains and others do not. Those who do not make adequate gains often come with developmental delays and other problems, many from their homes. This doesn't mean they can't learn, but may take YEARS for them to make the gains that other children do. Are you saying that we shouldn't teach those children who can't learn as fast as others? Do you mean that we shouldn't pay someone a decent salary to teach them because it won't produce a "return on investment" ? What you are saying is it isn't worth the investment in a teacher to teach a slow learner or one with low IQ. How do you know what value they may bring to our world and maybe make it a better place? The point is the majority of teachers work extremely hard with all children and deserve to be compensated for the expertise they give. You imply that taxpayers should have a return on investment, so all children will be meeting grade level expectations. This will never happen because children are so different. All children can make growth, but in their own time.

Wiley Coyote said...


I've said 100+ times I agree that teachers should be paid more money due to what was lost under Bev Perdue and since then.

The fact is, we can pay teachers $100,000 each and it will not translate into higher achievement in the schools. That's not a knock against teachers, it's just the truth.

That's why PFP will not work.

Anonymous said...

CMS data gathered through exit interviews from teachers leaving the System show that almost twice as many teachers leave CMS for morale reasons than for pay reasons.

Anonymous said...

Here's a novel idea; why don't the parents of all these snot-gobblers kick in some extra money for the schools instead of constantly shifting the burden onto someone else? Maybe you parents should surrender the tax break you get from uncle sam to your local school district.

Anonymous said...

Oh Meck Ed weighing in on this who cares. That group means nothing and stands for nothing. It gives some old educators who wanted out of the system a few jobs that are better paying. Just like the chamber weighing on nobody listens to them or cares. KW Hurley

Anonymous said...

Why can our school PTA basically threaten us to join the PTA or else we do not receive their communications? Blackmail anyone?

Anonymous said...

When are we finding about about which schools are Beacon schools? And what that will mean for those schools?

Anonymous said...

Anon 615, that should be at tomorrow night's school board meeting. I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

4:17 Our school PTA hits us parents up every chance it gets, and has loads of money at the end of each school year.

Anonymous said...

@7:36-perhaps you are a fellow parent at an elementary school in 28277 then! ha ha

Anonymous said...

Our PTA bundles the cost of the student planner and the PTA membership together. So parents are joining the PTA whether they know it or not and whether they want to or not.

Wiley Coyote said...


I don't believe the PTA can get away with forcing you to pay for a planner and become a member of the PTA.

Perhaps the county or CMS attorney could issue a ruling as to what statute allows for the gouging of parents in this manner.

I'm willing to bet those on FRL aren't paying it.

Anonymous said...

I think what Wiley is trying to say is that CMS serves a fairly rough crowd, therefore, giving teachers in CMS a pay raise is a poor investment because it most likely won't improve student performance. Perhaps this is the wrong way to look at it, but I tend to agree with him. I attended Harding back in the 80's, so I saw this for myself.

In order for students to learn, they need to care!

Wiley Coyote said...


That's not what I'm saying.

Studies have shown paying teachers more money does not necessarily translate into higher test scores.

All kids deserve a quality teacher, which I believe the vast majority are.

Paying teachers a competitive salary, if nothing else, means more stability within the district and less time spent on scrambling to find replacements.

Anonymous said...

Study the effective education results of Finland. One of the main reasons is the higher salaries of teachers. The salary lends itself for parents and students to respect the job and the person doing it more. It also weeds out some of the deadbeat teachers because it truly attracks the "Best and Brightest".

Wiley Coyote said...

Finland and USA...two totally different social and economic systems.

Apples and oranges.

Take back our schools said...

This will be interesting to see if the usual demographic votes for this sales tax addition when most of the taxes they vote for (schools, affordable housing, etc.) they do not have to pay back themselves.

Anonymous said...

Finland , USA , OZ , ect.......

People + Process = Results

Measurable results that is an effective use of taxpayer money is the education eutopia we all are looking for.

Anonymous said...

NO I aint gonna work on Maggie Morrisons farm NO more !

Put in resignation to cross the line south for greener pastures.Good luck CMS finding a replacement of teachers with over 20 years of experience.

Wiley Coyote said...


You'll have to expand on that.

USA can never replicate what Finland does.

Again, two toally different societal makeups.

I do agree with: "Measurable results that is an effective use of taxpayer money", but doing so tying to implement a Finland type system won't work.

Anonymous said...

What system can the US replicate then?

They have wasted TRILLIONS of dollars since the Johnson administration. The measurable result is falling out of the Top 25 in the world order.

Wiley Coyote said...

$ SPENT PER PUPIL US $7,743 FIN $5,653

~ Funding of schools: Finnish schools are funded based on a formula guaranteeing equal allocation of resources to each school regardless of location or wealth of its community.

~ Well-being of children: All children in Finland have, by law, access to childcare, comprehensive health care, and pre-school in their own communities. Every school must have a welfare team to advance child happiness in school.

~ Education as a human right: All education from preschool to university is free of charge for anybody living in Finland. This makes higher education affordable and accessible for all.

Where will you find funding to replicate this in the US for 58 million kids?

Finland is a welfare country and even though the United States is headed in that direction, I seriously doubt Americans are ready to throw in towel and vote to give everything they have for kids to get free education, health care etc. from cradle to grave.

Anonymous said...

Ardey Kell

$4,000 spent per pupil

West Meck

$12,000 spent per pupil

+ Project Lift Funds and Beacon

Finland, Westside Schools, OZ,ect...................
Like Joyce said we are going to keep spending money until we get it right. Welfare country vs. Welfare county. Where are the results from the welfare county?

Wiley Coyote said...


Here a suggestion.

Cries for equal funding? Okay, let's drop the $12,000 down to $4,000 and make it "equal funding", right?

I'll vote for that.

Anonymous said...

These seem to be the same schools that we’ve concentrated on year after year. At some point we have to get it right,” board member Joyce Waddell said. “I hope whatever we do this time, we’ll do it and get it right.”

Whatever chair you move around on the Titanic is right. Does anyone on the Board of Education have a clue how to spend our not their money ?

Anonymous said...

42 Million for an All Star game--yet you raise taxes for education---what part of stupid do I not understand. More gov overreach. I would prefer another Lottery for the county.

Anonymous said...

"I hope whatever we do this time we do it and get it right"

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Wiley Coyote said...

It is imperative that people get out and vote AGAINST this measure in November.

It's not enough to say you oppose it. Get out and vote and make sure you get others to do the same.

Wiley Coyote said...



...and they've been stupid for the past 45 years.

As I have said for years. Educrats are always coming up with the newest, baddest mouse traps, but they never catch any.

Anonymous said...

if what anon 12;17 stated is correct, the parents at Ak should sue CMS. How can any school system justify a spending ratio of 3:1, that's almost criminal. From the outside looking in, it appears the more CMS spends, the worse the results.

Is Joyce Waddell the driving force behind Waddell High school? The new high school built in one of the worst communities in Charlotte and was a total failure in every way and was then closed. Now that is brilliance, reminds me of Detroit public schools, as does Joyce Waddell.