Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 11, 2013

BOE finds money for SROs

The Cumberland County Board of Education approved its 2013-'14 budget Monday night, with a 2.5 percent salary increase for teachers and funding for the first year of a School Resource Officer program. Though the final budget is about $3 million out of balance, the board proposes using its fund balance and seeking no more than the minimum required funding for the school system from the county.

"We tried to tighten it up as much as we possibly can to be able to balance the budget, number one, and then be able to go to the county commission with less than a large amount of money that obviously would put them in a bad position in their budget, as well," Director of Schools Donald Andrews said.

The proposed budget was revised to remove $154,041 for the cost of 120-day contracts at the Central Office, two interim teacher positions at a cost of $92,000 and $630,000 for replacement of the roof and sealing of mortar at North Cumberland Elementary.

"We do still have room in that line [teacher pay] for the 10 interim positions, should they be needed," Chief Financial Officer Bob Scarbrough told the board. The school system routinely budgets 10 additional teaching positions in the event teachers must be off for medical leave and a certified teacher must be hired to fill the vacancy.

The board also voted to not renew its membership in the National School Boards Association at a savings of $4,600. Jim Blalock, 8th District representative, moved to remove the NSBA membership fees, supported by Sandy Brewer, 3rd District representative. The motion was approved with Richard Janeway, 2nd District representative; David Bowman, 7th District representative; and Dan Schlafer, 9th District representative, voting no.

Vivian Hutson, 6th District representative, noted the roof at North Cumberland was under warranty through November 2015 and, though the original company had been sold, the new owner agreed to honor the warranty and fix the leaks. The mortar sealing project could be part of a proposed addition construction project.

Andrews had several possible reductions for the board to consider, including the 1.5 percent salary increase the board had previously approved for certified personnel, at a savings of $278,000, and decreasing expenses for fuel $100,000, electricity $100,000 and custodians $100,000. Additional proposed reductions were asking personnel to pay the health insurance premium increase, for a savings of $223,750, and asking the county to fund the purchase of school buses at a cost of $510,000.

The decreases in fuel, electrical and custodian expenditures were suggested after studying the expenditures in the past budget. However, there was concern about reducing the fuel and electrical budgets too much, considering the upward trend in those costs. There was also discussion of the custodian reduction due to increased square footage and recent additions completed at Pine View and Pleasant Hill elementary schools.

Andrews had also suggested seeking $510,000 for bus purchases and $311,770 for an SRO program from the county. He also recommended seeking an unspecified amount for proposed building projects that include the CCHS stadium renovation and additions at North Cumberland and Crab Orchard elementary schools.

There was discussion among the board about the 1.5 percent certified personnel pay increase required by the state and the 1.5 percent pay increase approved by the board in May. It would be possible to pay those items as one-time bonuses and not add those to an employee's pay on an ongoing basis. However, board members recalled voting to make the increases raises and not bonuses.

Davis said, "If you give it as bonuses, you have to have a lot more reductions taken out."

Schlafer said, "The state gave a 1.5 percent raise. I never heard that was a bonus. That was a raise."

The state is allowing school systems to provide those additional funds as bonuses or increases on the local portion of the teacher pay scale. The 1.5 percent will not be added to the state's salary schedule. A look back at minutes from the May meeting found the motion for the 3 percent increase for budgetary purposes referred to a raise.

Brewer suggested reducing the local salary increase .5 percent, for a total certified personnel salary increase of 2.5 percent, saving about $92,000. That added to savings in the custodian line, $100,000, about $18,000 in reductions to fuel and electricity and the $4,600 reduction from NSBA dues, to fund $233,827.50 of the SRO program. Sheriff Butch Burgess has committed to providing one of four officers from his budget this first year.

"Since I've been on the board, we've talked about the need for SROs," Brewer said. "I recommend we show the county commission we're serious about this."

Bowman agreed, adding, "We fund the start up and then they take it up...If we don't take this step, it's always going to be a great idea."

Josh Stone, 4th District representative, wanted assurance from the county they would take up funding of the program after the first year and there was also discussion of needing a memorandum of understanding with the Sheriff's Department for the program.

The board was not in favor of asking teachers to absorb the 5 percent increase in health insurance premiums, set to begin in January, this year.

"We can squeeze by this year," Brewer said. "It needs to be known we may not be able to next year. But I'd like to keep it as is at least one more year."

It was also noted it was important to leave the purchase of buses in the transportation budget because the state funds transportation based on a three-year average of expenses.

The budget doesn't seek any more additional local funding than that required by the state for the Basic Education Program match — $16.59 million, up from $16 million budgeted last year. The county will determine how to meet that required match through a combination of local taxes, primarily property taxes and local-option sales tax.

Stone moved to approve the budget with a 2.5 percent pay increase for certified personnel, funding for the SRO program and a memorandum of understanding with the county regarding continued funding for the SRO program. The motion was supported by Bowman but board members questioned if the county could make binding commitments regarding future budgets.

Andrews noted the best the county could offer the school system was a good faith assurance it would pick up that funding in future years.

"If they don't, we don't have the money for it," he said.

Stone then amended his motion to remove the requirement for future funding commitments, with Bowman supporting the motion.

The motion as approved with Schlafer voting no.

"I cannot and do not support another bare bones budget," Schlafer said. "I'm tired of it."

Schlafer, Davis and Hutson all noted they had family members working in the school system and declared a conflict in voting on the budget.

The budget will be presented to the education committee of the Cumberland County Commission at its meeting today at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the small meeting room of the Cumberland County Courthouse.

Two public hearings are also scheduled Thursday, from noon to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Central Services board room, 368 Fourth St.

Text Only
Area News
  • trail 1.jpg Working on the trail

    Volunteers were out Saturday morning constructing a trail at Meadow Park Lake. This was phase one of trail building, explained John Conrad, Crossville Trails organizer, with volunteers clipping twigs and branches and raking a path. Bruce Whitehead, George Schlenker, Lee Skinner and Pat Schudiske rake a path about three feet wide. Later, larger obstacles, such as fallen trees, will be removed, and topsoil removed on the trail to aid in trail maintenance. The trail will be about 1.5 miles in length.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panel waives ticket charge for boosters

    The building and grounds committee approved a request to waive a portion of the ticket fees for a school sports booster group planning a truck and tractor pull at the Cumberland County Community Complex, but the committee cautioned the group it would take action by the full Cumberland County Commission to relieve them of the obligation to return 10 percent of the gate charge to the county.

    April 23, 2014

  • Jury seated in Batty slaying case

    A jury plus alternates has been seated and began hearing evidence in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.

    April 23, 2014

  • New site sought for convenience center

    An expansion at Colinx and the improvement of a city street will require Cumberland County to move a convenience center. The city of Crossville has proposed a site in the same general area, but commissioners on the county's building and grounds committee were concerned about the cost to make the site suitable for a convenience center and the proximity of the Little Obed River.

    April 23, 2014

  • Hwy. 70 crash.jpg CCHS student dies in car crash

    Crossville Police have identified the victim of a two-vehicle collision that occurred Tuesday morning on Hwy. 70 W at the intersection of Dillon St. as a sophomore at Cumberland County High School.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_0783.JPG Visitors center now open to the public

    A ten-year effort to establish a gateway to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, as well as to point tourists and visitors to the many other area parks, historical sites and points of interest, concluded Thursday as the community gathered with officials from the city of Crossville, Cumberland County, the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and the National Park Service to dedicate the Crossville-Cumberland County: Gateway to the Big South Fork Visitors Center on River Otter Dr.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shots fired during standoff over domestic situation

    Chickens were killed, threats of bodily harm made and at least three shots fired in the presence of a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy during a domestic dispute between an uncle and nephew.

    April 22, 2014

  • Jury selection set in Batty slaying

    Jury selections were scheduled to begin today in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.

    April 22, 2014

  • Thoughts for this holy time of Easter

    The first performance of George Friderick Handel's masterpiece, "Messiah," was given in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742, where it was well received. When it was performed in England there were criticisms of the music, performers and location of the performance. It was held that the subject matter was too exalted to perform in an opera house, but rather it should be performed in church. Wouldn't it be interesting if we knew how many times this magnificent music has been performed in the past 272 years?

    April 22, 2014

  • Joe Goodwin.JPG Warden Joe Goodwin remains a true original

    The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, and Crossville's Joe Goodwin is part of that living history.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice