The Knox County School Board voted on Wednesday evening to continue Career Magnet Academy.
Career Magnet, located off Strawberry Plains Pike, is a unique school with a partnership with Pellissippi State Community College. Students are able to get a jump start on their careers by learning about technical options and getting dual credits while still in high school.
The motion, voted on with a 8 yes votes and 1 no, includes reallocating the current magnet budget for CMA to provide marketing material, increase recruitment, and add a sign to the campus. The total amount, according to the motion read at the Knox Co. school board meeting, will not exceed $5,000.
Additionally, upper administration is to report to the board on CMA recruitment and marketing process at the March and May 2019 board work session meetings.
It’s only been up and running for five years, but the school board cited a drop of enrollment and the costs of keeping the program going when they considered closing it.
“As unfortunate as this mess was, I think it’s gonna help too. A lot of students are asking for flyers to hand out at work. I think it’ll work well in our favor,” said Chelsea Barranger, a student at CMA.
Students and parents shared their concerns about ending the program at a meeting last week.
The board voted Wednesday to keep the school going by a 8-1 vote, with board member Terry Hill being the only dissenting vote.
“I just feel compelled to look at the greater picture for all of knox county and all, fiscally…” said Terry Hill.
Hill said the passion shown by students and speakers was not the reason she voted no, in fact, she said it was inspiring to see so many in support of their school.
“We’re gonna work on our marketing, we have a whole team that got together monday night that has some ideas on how we can grow CMA. Build a future for all the freshman,” said Sarah Taylor, a parent with a student at CMA.
The board also voted to add funding for marketing the academy in an effort to attract more students.