Meck. Co Manager Recommends Half of Budget Towards Education -

Meck. Co Manager Recommends Half of Budget Towards Education

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Mecklenburg County’s Manager talked about parks, libraries, and schools and how much money each department should get.

She presented her budget recommendations Thursday in front of county commissioners.

She plans to keep the property tax rate the same and add a nurse to every school in the county.

“It is critical to my family. My child will be one of 17,000 children with asthma, and one of 11,000 with a food allergy and those numbers are rising,” Carrie Merner.

Not every school in the county has a nurse now but it could change.

“The CDC recommends that we have 1 nurse for 750 children. Right now, we have one nurse for every 1125 – and they are going to between two schools and sometimes just one every other day,” said Merner.

Diorio recommened 50% of the budget towards education and pushed for 33 more school nurses.

“I think every public school should have a nurse so we were in a position to provide that funding and we are happy we can do that,” said Diorio.

More nurses in school mean teachers have more time to focus in the classroom.

“For every moment helping handle these conditions, that is time taken away from the classroom so it is just as important for safety, as well as their education,” said Merner.

There is a public hear next month and county commissioners will approve the budget in about 3 weeks.

Dena Diorio will present her recommended budget to her board Thursday morning.

She says she’ll prioritize the budget based on demands and the ability to pay – meaning how it will impact tax dollars.

The agenda is based on economic development, quality of life, human services and high performance.

Mecklenburg County is home to around 1 million people and around 200,000 people have moved into the area in the last decade.

That growth means more services for the county.

She says she has also heard from several parents about having a nurse at every school.

Funding for schools and increasing teacher pay is also something she wants to consider.

She wants to focus on families and children and unmet recession needs.

Diorio spoke at a breakfast forum earlier this month and says we have to either cut services or increase the tax rate to make up for funds.

Diorio took office this year as the 1st female county manager for Mecklenburg County.

Archith Seshadri will be at Thursday morning's meeting at 11:30 and will be live tweeting (@archithFox46)

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