Knox County Schools board approves budget, plus $4 million for fund gap

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated who was exempt from the reduction of contract days.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Board of Education for Knox County Schools unanimously approved the 2021 budget Wednesday night that also tacked on an extra $4 million in order to help fill a fund gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They approved a $503.8 million expenditure budget plus $4 million to replenish a fund balance for a total $507.8 million total revenue budget. The approval was made after much discussion on how to fill the gap — by cutting positions and reducing contract days for district employees.

The special board meeting was called to discuss the budget issues for 2020-2021; with some board members saying they knew putting together the new budget would prove challenging and they would need to face “tough decisions.”

Last week, probable budget cuts centered on reductions were shared as the board looked to this week’s special meeting to vote on which route to go with amidst the ongoing pandemic. The 2019-2020 school year came to an abrupt halt and educators as well as administrators were faced with something never dealt with before.

PREVIOUS STORY: Proposed budget cuts to Knox County Schools would save $4.4 Million

The school system saying cuts include 20 positions and a reduction of 5-contract days for year-round Knox County Schools employees; with the exception of custodial and maintenance staff.

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