June 22, 2024

CMS may reduce workforce over impending loss of federal COVID funds

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Layoffs may be looming at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

CMS expressed concern Wednesday that the expiration of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), could cause some issues. The funds expire on February 5, 2024.

“We may have to realign roles and responsibilities of some staff,” Superintendent Dr. Crystal Hill said. “We value the contributions of our employees and want to keep everyone employed.”

CMS leaders say some of the areas the money was supposed to help were class sizes, transportation improvements, cleaning, and indoor air quality.



“Approximately $60 million in ESSER funds is attached to people and the district is looking for ways not to reduce its workforce once the funding is gone,” CMS officials stated.

About 141,000 students attend schools in the CMS district, the 17th largest in the country. Dr. Hill is in her first year as superintendent and joined the district from Cabarrus County.

The emergency federal funds were made available in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic to help stabilize education.

CMS said Wednesday that they are currently planning for the expiration of $190 million in ESSER funds, $60 million of which is currently attached to staff.

The district did not specify exactly what those plans are.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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