2017-2018 Updates and Fee Changes
Community Use of Schools Customers,
Effective July 1, 2017: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools increased fees for community groups using school facilities for all new users. The increases are to cover operating expenses for those buildings. In order to assist current users (with a rental history between July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017) with their expense budgeting, the effective fee increase date was January 1, 2018.
It is the intent of the Board of Education for CMS not to profit, but to break even in allowing the community to use its facilities. CMS has not increased fees since 2008. From 2008 through 2016, utility costs have increased 9.3%, health benefits for staff have increased 34%, and retirement benefits have increased 100%. In the eight years since the last fee increase, CMS has operated the facilities at an estimated loss of $1,613,468. "Our schools are often the hub of their communities – as they should be. We welcome groups to use our facilities," said Carol Stamper, Chief Operating Officer. "Our goal is to cover the costs of providing this service to the community. We want to be good stewards of the public's money."
Last year, CMS approved 1,770 contracts for 20,895 events equaling 88,289 hours of use. Most community activities held in CMS schools are sponsored by athletic, recreational and religious organizations. Nearly three million youth and 1.5 million adults participated in the activities.
The regulations provide for different fees for non-profit versus for-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations receive higher priority. Most of the rate increases are nominal, except for gymnasiums which create the most utility expense. Nominal fees for field usage are being implemented for the first time by CMS, in line with what other N.C. school districts do. Despite the increases, CMS remains the best deal in town compared to what the County and other neighboring school districts are charging for use of their facilities.
CMS takes pride in making its facilities available for use by the public, and looks forward to continuing our special relationships with the community.