Trousdale County’s School Board took no action on revising its budget during a special called meeting last Thursday.
Instead, board members voted to continue the meeting until Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. to allow for further discussions between the director of schools, mayor and county commissioners.
The Budget & Finance Committee rejected the schools’ budget proposal at a July 19 meeting. That proposal called for $367,078 in new dollars for the school system.
“We feel like we’ve been responsible, frugal with tax dollars and we also feel like we made a reasonable request,” Director of Schools Clint Satterfield said to board members during Thursday’s meeting.
“Our budget is a status-quo budget… We have no raises for employees other than teacher raises mandated by the state… no new positions, no new educational programs. We’ve tried to hold the line.”
Satterfield told board members he was optimistic of getting a deal worked out with commissioners. Board member Johnny Kerr added that multiple members of the County Commission had expressed in conversation with him the possibility of assistance with capital outlay needs – such as a new roof for Jim Satterfield Middle School – rather than providing more money to the school budget.
“That doesn’t take them up any on maintenance of effort, it’s not a recurring cost, and it allows us not to go any deeper into our fund balance, maybe for a couple of years,” Satterfield said to the board.
“Some of them thought that was a good compromise,” Kerr added. “I think we need time to go about that decision-making process and see if a majority can be gained on that.”
County Commission Chairman Jerry Ford told The Vidette that Mayor Stephen Chambers and Satterfield were discussing multiple compromise options, but did not give further details.
Chambers’ only comment when contacted by The Vidette was that “discussions are ongoing.”
Commissioner Rachel Jones, who sits on Budget & Finance, added, “I’ve heard several different ideas for the middle school roof… but I’ll have to have more details before I make a decision.”
The Budget & Finance Committee has announced a special called meeting on Monday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. to discuss the school system’s budget, as well as the county’s proposed 2019-20 budget.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.