Battle Over Sumner Co. School Budget Rages On - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Battle Over Sumner Co. School Budget Rages On

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SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. - Commissioners in Sumner County voted late Monday night to give schools an additional $800,000.

"Tonight was nothing more than a disappointment, a typical 13 to 14 votes against. There were people unwilling to help schools in my opinion. I think people in the this room saw that identical thing," said Commissioner Paul Goode.

The Sumner County Board of Education has called a meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the new developments. Officials said that the best case scenario for the first day of school would be Thursday, August 16, but no official start date has been determined.

"We want to see students back in school, into classrooms. That's our primary function, and our movement," said director of schools Del Phillips.

During the Monday night meeting, a property tax increase was suggested in order to meet the needs of the School Board. Seventeen people addressed the Sumner County Commissioners, a majority of them supported a property tax increase. Following a vote, the proposed 14 cent property tax increased failed 16-8 against.

Commissioners also considered reallocating 7 cents from the county's project fund to the school's general fund, but that was also voted down. The only vote that passed Monday night was a proposal to allow residents to voluntarily contribute money to schools.

County Commissioner, Paul Goode motioned to take $1.5 million from the hospital fund to supplement the school budget, but the motion later failed.

Hundreds of parents wearing blue shirts and blue ribbons have come out to each of these meetings to show support for the school district and they are staying optimistic this will be resolved soon.

The TSSAA has given Sumner County a deadline as well. Officials said that the TSSAA will cancel all fall sports if schools are not in session in 20 days or by August 31. 

Sumner County schools were supposed to open August 6, but a dispute over the budget forced school members to delay the start of school.

Originally, board members asked commissioners for an additional $6.7 million to cover increasing costs associated with a growing district. Last Monday night, county commissioners countered with a one-time offer of $2.2 million.

Wednesday night, board members approved Director of Schools Dr. Del Phillips revised budget that included additional cuts, and had asked for an additional $2.8 million.

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