KCS Board of Education meeting discusses religious release program, move of central offices


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Schools Board of Education met Wednesday night to consider a possible religious release program and a potential move of KCS central offices.

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Both measures did not progress forward; with the religious release time getting voted down and the move to the Tennessee Valley Authority East Tower vote deferred.

RELATED: Leaders discuss moving Knox County Schools offices to TVA East Tower

Board members voted 5-4 Wednesday night to not approve the religious release time policy.

WATE 6 ON Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel covered the meeting. When that agenda item was voted down, the decision was met with applause from the audience.

School leaders examined the “released time religious instruction” policy for its first reading Wednesday night.

Parents, teachers, and community members had voiced their opinions on the topic at last week’s work session. The policy involves allowing students to leave class for a bible program at a local church.

RELATED: Parents, teachers, community members voice opinions about KCS ‘Bible Release Time’

Sterchi Elementary School was the pilot school for the policy’s development.

RELATED: Sterchi Elementary’s ‘Bible Release Time’ draws response from Satanic Children’s Ministry of Knoxville

The board was slated to discuss moving the KCS central offices to the TVA East Tower, near Market Square.

On this topic, the board moved to approve a substitute motion which defers the MOU between Knox County and KCS and express support for moving to TVA or other possible sites that would be considered legal.

The board voted 5-4 on it.

The idea was for the district to occupy the first six floors of the tower and the county would have the ability to sublease the top six. The move would still require approval from the Knox County Commission, but would be a final vote for the school board.


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