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By DAMON LAWRENCE
The Roane County school board unanimously approved the 2009-10 budget at last week’s meeting.
The $63.8 million budget does not require a tax increase to fund.
“My thing was make sure it was balanced, and it is,” Vice Chairman Mike “Brillo” Miller said.
School system business manager Eric Harbin said the budget includes a 1-percent raise for teachers.
Director of Schools Toni McGriff’s annual pay increase will bump her salary from $108,409 to $111,120.
Fees for school lunches and the Before- and After-School Program will not increase, Harbin said.
The school budget will next go to the county commission’s budget committee for approval. Once they approve the budget, it will go to the full commission.
“We’re sending a budget to county commission that does not require a tax increase,” board member Wade McCullough emphasized.
“It is balanced, and with the federal stimulus dollars involved with it ... it actually is an improvement, so I think this is a good budget.”
The school board’s $32 million building proposal is not in the budget.
That will require a tax increase should the commission decide to fund it. McGriff pitched the plan to the budget committee earlier this month, and asked that it be sent on to the full commission for a vote.
“Is there a motion to recommend?” County Executive Mike Farmer asked the committee.
“You talking about this program right here?” Commissioner Bobby Collier responded. “I think we need a little more time to think about it.”
The school system is staying the course on the building plan. McCullough gave a speech on the plan to commissioners at the June 8 meeting. McGriff said the chamber of commerce plans to write letters to commissioners urging them to support the plan.
Duff in at
Roane County High
Lance Duff is the new principal at Roane County High School. He takes over for Robert Dill, who resigned.
Duff moves over from the Midtown Educational Center, where he was principal and director of career tech.
“I know that the Kingston community is really going to enjoy Mr. Duff,” McGriff said.