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Budget Battle Heats Up Over Cheatham County Schools Funding

Posted: 10:22 PM, Aug 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-14 03:23:31Z

Teachers in Cheatham County say without more money for schools, teachers will be fleeing for better-paying jobs somewhere else.

If the Cheatham County School Board and the County Commissioners don't agree on a funding proposal by the end of the month, leaders say the schools will default to last years budget which could have them in the red.

The Cheatham County Teachers Association says the county is experiencing brain drain -- with Cheatham teachers leaving for higher paying districts.

"We've got to put our money in our schools, so we can attract some good families and attract some good businesses, so we can bring in more sales tax and bring in other taxes that would help fund our community on more than just schools," said Melanie Buchanan with the Cheatham County Education Association.

But commission chair Donnie Jordan says the county has already agreed to pay for several budget items the school system used to pay for.  Because of that, he says a budget proposal that the teachers union argues isn't enough, already amounts to the largest budget increase in the last 15 years.

"I think a lot of people feel like we've done all we can do right now," Jordan said.

Without approving a budget Monday night, the school board now has to find a different proposal commissioners can agree on by the end of the month.