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PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn.- A 2.5 cent tax property increase in Putnam County will help replace old books and overcrowded schools.
Early in 2012, fire inspectors deemed Monterey High School in Putnam County a fire hazard because of outdated material in the ceiling. Since that time the high school students have been attending class in a elementary school, leaving many of the students, especially the seniors with a new outlook on high school.
"We try to keep things positive here, but our kids feel we're neglected in some ways. We don't have our typical graduation. We're not going to have this or that and it's been really emotional for them," said High school principal Sonja Farley.
Farley said due to the overcrowding at the elementary school, teachers are forced to hold three and sometimes five classes in one classroom.
"It's been different with the open concepts. Classrooms do not have walls or doors or anything, so that's been an adjustment for all my staff," she explained. "The schools need more money for operations and there is a dire need to for another school building program."
Not only is Monterey High School in desperate need of a new building, but schools in Baxter are overcrowded. In order to fix some of the school's problems a new 2.5 cent property tax increase was passed.
"What that amounts to is on a $100,000 home, it's about and additional $46," said Kim Blaylock, a Putnam County Official.
Blaylock said the proposed budget would bring $53.5 million to the school building program.