School Board Ponders Budget Dilemma CUTS
Math whiz Lisa Russell candidate for Greenback School Board helps out the business manager with her keen observations on the budget.
By: Pat Hunter
Everyone is filling the pinch of a bad economy and the pain at the fuel pump and grocery store and everywhere they go. Private retailer Goody’s clothing just filed for Chapter 11. It operates 355 stores and preliminary plans are to close 103 stores and an Arkansas distribution center. Goody’s would not say at this time how many of its 12,000 workers may face unemployment or how many Tennessee workers will face the chopping block. The private sector is dealing with these serious economic issues, which involve real people and real lives.
The Loudon County Board of Education (BOE) also has the unpleasant task of budget cuts because of funding shortfalls from state and local coffers. The BOE met at its Monday June 9th workshop meeting to discuss reductions and possible cuts. Last month, the Loudon County Budget Committee informed the School Board that the County would only fund a partial amount of the proposed FY 08-09 School Budget. Although, the Budget Committee proposed a 8 cent tax hike for property owners that still left over $3 Million to be trimmed from the proposed School Budget.
According to School Director Edward Headlee, he, Gil Luttrell, assistant School Director and Bennie Sims, business manager had met for nine hours to work on cuts to the budget. Click here to view the latest list of 2008-2009 Budget Reductions, May 30, 2008 pdf
There were some back and forth discussions from School Board members about the possibility of eliminating positions of family liaisons, CTE (technical) guidance counselor and central office student services personnel. The School Board also discussed using money from the School’s Fund Balance to cover the purchase of $380,000 for social studies books because it would take six more years before the purchase of new social studies books.
School Board member Leroy Tate was perhaps the most vocal about making the necessary cuts to meet the County Commission’s Budget Committee’s prerequisite.
The School Board looked at all sorts of cuts including eliminating job positions, travel, membership, technology position, etc. At one time, Bennie Sims, business manager commented that the budget was $40,000 in the black but that was with all cuts and reductions on the list and more. But some Board members wanted to see some figures with a possible one percent pay raise for certified, non-certified and administrative personnel and adding the positions that were once on the chopping block.
Leroy Tate wanted to know, can someone explain to me, why we’re going back to square one, after arguing back and forth for several hours? Chairman Bobby Johnson, Jr., replied, the Board had questions about these cuts. Larry Proaps commented, we started off with $4.6 Million and now we are down to $655,000. Proaps added, when we vote to send this budget back, I want them referring to Commissioners, to know what these cuts represent. We’re setting back education, he said.
The School Board will vote on the proposed School Budget and reductions on Thursday, June 12th at 7:00 PM at the Annex basement meeting room. Once the Budget is approved by the School Board it will be sent to Commissioners. Loudon County Commissioners however will have the final say, either to vote the School Board Budget, UP or DOWN!
The DRAFT FY 08-09 BUDGET is one document but located in three pdf files so readers with dial up service may view the draft budget.
Click to view: Draft Budget Section 1, Draft Budget Section 2, Draft Budget Section 3
Proposed DRAFT Budget Reductions May 30, 2008 subject to change by the School Board. Final vote June 12, 2008
BOE Agenda below
LOUDON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
June 12, 2008
Pledge & Prayer
Opening of meeting – Chairman Johnson
Adoption of Agenda
I. Approval of minutes of May meeting (copy enclosed)
Presentations to retiring teachers – Chairman Johnson
Presentations – Chairman/Director
City of Greenback
Eaton Elementary School
Recognition of Visitors – This is the time for anyone who wishes to address the Board about any matter
on the agenda. (This item is limited to a total time of 30 minutes for comments.
Anyone wishing to address the Board should limit his/her remarks to allow for others.)
II. 5K Run/Walk proposal – Melisa Fuhrmeister (CSHP)
III. Administrative Reports – Administrators
IV. Approval of summer camps – Philadelphia Elementary School
Boys Basketball Camp Grades 3 - 7 June 9 - 13
Girls Basketball Camp Grades 3 - 7 June 16 - 20
V. Consideration of 2008 – 2009 school budget
VI. Director’s items:
A. Budget amendments (copies enclosed) – Bennie Sims
B. Comments/Updates, etc.
A. Edward Headlee
Director of Schools
NOTE: Board Workshop – Courthouse Annex – Monday, June 9th – 6:30 P.M.