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UC School Directors Voice Concerns To Legislators

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UC School Directors Voice Concerns To Legislators

Upper Cumberland School Directors met with Tennessee Legislators Thursday to speak about their concerns about school funding.

Jackson County School Director Kristy Brown said she got a chance to talk about issues important to her schools with Representative John Mark Windle and Senator Paul Bailey. Brown said trying to get teachers a raise next fiscal year ranked high on the list. The legislature cut raises for teachers in last summer’s emergency session with uncertainties about money related to COVID.

Brown said that ensuring that funding for schools does not drop because school enrollment drops is key, along with providing Summer school options for students struggling with learning during the pandemic.

“Transportation for students and meals for students, that’s such an obstacle for some of our families in the Summer,” Brown said. “Well, anytime but particularly in the Summer. I think that the students who need it most it will be available to them, more available.”

Brown said she’s optimistic this will be provided during the upcoming general session. She said this will be important for students who fell behind during an unprecedented school year.

“I hope that there’s a way to find a way to fund this Summer school,” Brown said. “To help students make up for maybe some of these losses that they may have from being quarantined or any kind of deficit that they may have.”

Brown said the Basic Education Program, or BEP funding, will be vital to many aspects of how her schools function. However, Brown said that luckily her schools enrollment has been able to remain stable.

“In the case that we were to lose enrollment, something like that would be really detrimental to have to cut a lot of funding from our schools,” Brown said. “That’s peoples jobs and things like that and we really want to see that stay stable. I believe that they will work on that and work with us, I feel optimistic about that.”

Brown said finding a way to state fund nurses is needed.


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