Monroe County Schools cuts several teaching positions amid budget issues

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MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Board of Education voted to cut eight teaching positions in a special meeting Tuesday night, which reduces the district’s budget by about $480,000.

The cutting of 8 positions means the following:

  • Six teachers whom were offered contracts, will have their offers rescinded
  • Two current employees will slide into special education spots

Prior to the vote, the Monroe County School District director presented six different budget proposals to the board.

Dr. Deanna McClendon, director of the school district for less than a month, said each proposal presented to the board Tuesday night before the decision cut nearly $500,000 of the district’s initial 2019-2020 budget because funding wasn’t available otherwise.

She said the district was initially over budget by $1.3 million when she first stepped into the position.

After cutting the budget for the maintenance and operation departments, McLendon said the budget was over by $481,728.

McClendon hoped the county commission would pass a property tax increase to help increase the school districts budget.

“Unfortunately they elected not to pass the property tax, and the wheel tax instead will go into their general fund budget, which we are not a part of that,” McClendon said.

She said the county hasn’t raised property taxes since 2013, even though the cost of living has.

She said without a revenue increase of some kind, the county expects the district to operate on the same budget as if supplies cost the same as they did in 2013.

“I would’ve liked to seen us come together as a community; the school board, the county commission, and the tax paying members of Monroe County; come together and decide what we really need for children. What do we really need to be able to give our children a world class education,” McClendon asked.

She said there were two items of the budget that wouldn’t be reduced: faculty insurance and textbooks.

McClendon said the budget proposals are broken down by department costs and again by specifics so the board members can see exactly how much money is spent to operate.

She said, as an example, transportation costs $1.8 million for the entire district. To break it down further, three bus routes serving one school could cost around $300,000.

McClendon also said the community could reach out to their county commissioners to ask for the property tax increase.

The school board will have another budget meeting next year, knowing they will have a deficit.

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