Schools keep coaches, cut textbooks

-A A +A
By Damon Lawrence

The alternative school will remain open, and academic and coaching pay supplements won’t be cut in half under a plan approved by the Roane County Board of Education on Thursday.
“I believe this is a good answer what we’ve come up with here tonight,” Board Member Everett Massengill said.
“It’s not what we would like, but it’s probably the best that we can come up with.” 
The board voted to use money out of its instructional reserves to keep those things intact.
Driver’s education was cut, along with money that had been designated for textbooks.
The board also voted to cut money that had been designated for a capital transfer and a college and career readiness testing match.
“I don’t see any other way around it,” Board Member Mike “Brillo” Miller said. “I think we got to do it, and we are able to keep the alternative school.”
Two and a half positions were cut from the alternative school.
“It will be with a reduced staff, but it will stay open,” Director of Schools Gary Aytes said.
Board members and school officials said the cuts were necessary to make up for a funding shortfall. They had lobbied for a 14-cent increase in the property tax rate, but the Roane County Commission voted to keep the tax rate the same.
The financial problems were attributed to cuts in state funding.
The tax increase would have generated $1.582 million for the school system.
The board’s plan that was approved on Thursday will still need approval from the commission, which is the funding body for the school system.
“It’s not a done deal just because the board approves it tonight,” Wade McCullough said.