CHARLOTTE — Salaries for teachers in the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools system will go up next year, superintendent Dr. Janice Ritter recently announced.
Each level of the compensation scale for teachers, which is based on their years of experience as well as whether they have bachelor’s or master’s degrees, will increase by at least $1,500 starting with the 2017-’18 school year. Salaries for MACS teacher assistants have also been increased.
This move, Ritter told MACS families in a Feb. 22 letter, was carefully evaluated by the MACS school board, business office and school leadership since January 2016, when the board set the goal of increasing teacher pay.
“At the September 2016 MACS Board meeting, we were pleasantly reassured to know that many parents also desired and supported this goal,” Ritter said. “Over the course of many months, the Finance Committee of the Board, the MACS Business Manager, and school administrators worked diligently to bring this goal to fruition.”
To accommodate this pay increase for teachers and teacher assistants, 2017-’18 tuition rates will go up 5.75 percent. The typical tuition increase is 3.5-4 percent annually.
Ritter acknowledged that adding any expense to the MACS budget requires striking a balance among establishing a reasonable tuition rate, managing expenses and making wise decisions.
“Just as your household expenses increase annually, our school expenses do as well,” she noted in her letter. “Typically, we try to meet these rising costs with a modest tuition increase of 3.5% to 4%. This year, in order to meet our increased expenses, and incorporate the cost of additional teacher compensation, it was necessary to build the budget on a slightly higher than normal tuition increase of 5.75 percent.”
The tuition increase will also provide money for a new MACS school bus that will be used for daily transportation, field trips and extracurricular activities.
MACS tuition rates for the 2017-’18 year for non-participating Catholics and non-Catholics are: $3,875 for half-day pre-kindergarten or $6,020 for full-day pre-kindergarten; $10,620 for elementary school (transitional kindergarten through fifth grade); $11,362 for middle school, and $15,205 for high school.
Tuition discounts are provided to participating Catholic parishioners. Tuition rates for participating Catholic families are: $3,875 for half-day pre-kindergarten or $6,020 for full-day pre-kindergarten; $6,569 for elementary school (transitional kindergarten through fifth grade); $7,279 for middle school, and $10,645 for high school.
Tuition for the MAP, PACE and Matthew Morgan programs is different from what is listed above.
Discounts for families with two or more students, including for special needs programs, are available.
The nine MACS schools are: St. Ann School (PK, TK-5), St. Gabriel School (K-5), St. Matthew School (TK-5), St. Patrick School (K-5), Our Lady of the Assumption School (PK-8), St. Mark School (K-8), Holy Trinity Middle School (6-8), Charlotte Catholic High School and Christ the King High School.
Ritter expressed gratitude for the Mecklenburg area parishes that provide substantial funds for tuition assistance support for families with documented financial need.
“As we make the assistance awards for the 2017-2018 year, please be assured that the slightly higher tuition increase will be incorporated into the formula for awarding assistance and, with the support of pastors, the level of funding to qualifying families will increase,” she stressed.
“It is our goal that those families who might find the tuition increase difficult to manage will not be negatively impacted. Those families who have a demonstrated financial need will have that need measured against the higher tuition increase.”
Ritter encouraged families who have not applied for tuition assistance in the past, and think there is a financial need in the 2017-2018 school year, to apply for this assistance.
Enrollment for the 2017-’18 school year is now open. For details, go to www.discovermacs.org.
— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter