No more state funding. That is, until the 2007-’08 county school budget has been submitted.

With the Cumberland County Board of Education possibly facing a depletion in funds by the month’s end, the Tennessee Department of Education has denied Director of Schools Aarona VanWinkle’s plea for funds to be sent.

In correction of an error made in the Oct. 5 Chronicle article titled “Schools working to keep doors open,” it was reported VanWinkle stated the Cumberland County school system spent about $1 million a day when schools are operating. Instead, according to Cindy Randol, BOE business manager, the system spends around $1 million per each bi-weekly pay period.

On Oct. 5, VanWinkle received notification from Robert Greene, assistant commissioner of education, that Cumberland County schools would not receive the grace period she requested in her Oct. 1 letter in which she asked that funds still be sent from the state while BOE members formed a solution to the budget crisis.

In response to the director’s request, Greene stated, “If a budget has not been received by the Department of Education prior to Oct. 1, TCA 49-3-316 (7)(d)(3) does not allow an LEA (Local Education Authority) to remain eligible to continue to receive state funds.”

The school system will continue to use the fund balance to keep the schools open. VanWinkle estimates funds are sufficient to keep schools open through the end of October.

“I honestly don’t know what to say,” said VanWinkle. “Our educational life is in the hands of the county commission.”

The director is slated to discuss the 2007-’08 school budget during her report at the monthly meeting on Oct. 10, which begins at 5 p.m.

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