Critics of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools more than occasionally levy the charge that CMS has too many administrators compared to classroom instructors, citing that CMS employs roughly 10,000 teachers, and another 8,000 non-teacher administrators. This is presented as self-apparent evidence of mismanagement.
The facts, however, paint a different picture.
Consider the following:
- CMS employs a legal department of six (6) attorneys, a ratio of one attorney per 3,000 employees.
- The City of Charlotte, with 6,800 employees, has a law department of 25, or one attorney per 272 employees.
- Mecklenburg County, employing 4,800 employees, has a law department of 19, or one attorney per 253 employees.
- The CMS Legal budget has been cut by more than $1 million, one third, since George Battle took over the department.
Since the 2008-2009 school year, when my friend Tim Morgan was first elected, the following changes have occurred in staffing:
- Principals, from 429 down to 402;
- Teachers, up by 679;
- TA’s, down by 264;
- Administrators, down by 33;
- Transportation, down by 120;
- Building/maintenance, down by 224;
- Net change in employees since 2008-2009: up 12 employees, increase of ratio of teachers to admin from 60% to 64%.
Over the same period, CMS has grown from 134,000 students to over 147,000 students.
Over the same period, CMS has increased from 48% economically disadvantaged students, to 60%.
Over the same period, CMS now occupies two fewer schools.
Most important, over the same period, graduation rates and test scores are at all-time highs.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools face definite problems, and hurdles to clear every day. We must not, however, be quick to base budgets, or elections, upon false and faulty assumptions, without analysis of the actual data.