Debate Over Sumner Co. School Start Date, Budget Continues
SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn.- Officials have yet to announce a start day for Sumner County schools, despite desperate pleas from local parents.
Last week the school board voted to delay the start indefinitely, until it resolved concerns about the budget. On Monday the Sumner County commissioners agreed to provide the district with $2.2 million dollars more for their budget, but still millions of dollars short of the School Board asked for.
When New Channel 5 crews visited the districts offices on Tuesday, phones were ringing continuously. No plans have been announced for a first day of school, after the start date was delayed last week.
Meanwhile parents have to scramble to figure out what to do with their kids. Donita Harper is a stay at home mom with two boys. She's also taking care of her best friend's daughters. On other days she's looking after as many as eight children, all to help out families who have few options about where to send their children, when they're supposed to be in school.
Director of Schools Dr. Del Phillips went before County Commissioners last night asking for $7.6 million more in their budget. A budget some teachers say is full of needs and is not a wish list. Commissioners responded with $2.2 million increase, still leaving the district $5 million short.
"Life's in limbo right now. There's no rhyme or reason. Until the school board and the county commission can come to an agreement, we're at a loss as what to do with our children," said Harper.
Officials announced last Tuesday that a meeting of the Sumner County School Board would be held Thursday, August 9 at 6 p.m at the board meeting room at 695 East Main Street in Gallatin, Tennessee.
"My hope and prayer is that we start back Monday with some resolution but no personnel cuts. I will keep you informed as much as possible but have very limited information. Don't believe everything you hear on the internet or social media sites. I encourage you to contact your School Board members at this point. Everyone is nervous and on edge, but we need to stay the course since a line has been drawn in the sand. If they cave now and we go back, cuts will most likely be coming at every school," said Danny Sullivan, from Union Elementary STEM and Demonstration School.