CMS Superintendent proposes new budget focusing on crisis strategies

- The outgoing CMS superintendent proposed a new budget Friday that focuses on handling crisis situations better - and helping at-risk teens avoid violence.

Wednesday night’s homicide hit home for CMS superintendent Dr. Ann Clark.

“We had a Grainger student shot and killed 6 o’clock in the morning and my first call was to the head of high school services,” Dr. Clark said.

It’s services like those the superintendent wants to beef up as she recommends earmarking $4.5 million for the programs.

“Out of all the people I could’ve called to notify and to see my first call the fact I contacted the lead for student services should send a signal to this community how critical those personnel are when we have a crisis situation,” she said.

Dr. Clark’s proposed budget of $440.5 million for the next year would include adding 42 more counselors, six psychologists and 12 social workers.

Another benefit of adding to the current support system would be the chance to curb violence. Two weeks ago Chief Kerr Putney spoke about stopping violence at the youth level.

Over at UNC Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services, Professor Dr. Herman-Smith said reaching kids as early as possible is key.

“Social workers are really good at trying to identify problems to stop them from becoming more entrench so I, the social worker, can be there to do a lot of prevention work,” he said.

The superintendent fears not adding the additional support staff as enrollment climbs could be detrimental to the students that need it most.  

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