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Jackson BOE Exploring Project To Build CTE Space

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jackson BOE Exploring Project To Build CTE Space

The Jackson County School Board started the planning process to build its own CTE space Thursday night.

The action came after the school board reviewed a proposed agreement from TCAT Hartsville. The institution currently provides CTE learning for Jackson and Macon County Schools in a joint building. The Hartsville administration indicated last year that it would no longer operate the site.

Director of Schools Kristy Brown said the proposed contract would allow a short notice closure of the the Macon facility.

“As long as it’s at the end of any given semester that they can give us a 30-day notice to close it down,” Brown said. “In the prior agreement it was 90 days and at the end of any semester so that’s significant.”

Brown said she believes the contract change was “intentional.” The proposed agreement also includes several other circumstances that would allow TCAT Hartsville to shut down the Macon County facility.

For example, if 10 percent or more of the floor area or facility is unusable and can’t be repaired in 30 days, the institution can immediately terminate the contract. Hartsville TCAT could also inspect the building’s codes and if it exceeds $25,000 of work to be in compliance, the agreement could be terminated.

School Board Chair Mark Brown said he feels like the contract puts the school system “in a corner.” He said in the event of a closure, he wanted to start the planning process of on campus options to ensure students have a place to learn.

“It bewilders me the way it just tries to separate everything and put a burden on us,” Mark Brown said. “We got a building up that essentially they’re going their way and we’re going our way and now you have a big building just sitting there.”

The proposed agreement would be good through June of 2025. Kristy Brown said over that time, two classes will transition away from the Macon facility: mechatronics and nursing.

Those will move to the Macon County High School by 2025. Kristy Brown said she believes that Livingston TCAT could fill the gap.

“That can happen,” Kristy Brown said. “We already send a bus to Livingston through a grant for a diesel repair class, and so basically what the agreement will be is we can put students on that bus for other classes too. So the classes that are not available anymore will be available to them there.”

Kristy Brown said auto repair, culinary arts, machine wielding and cosmetology classes will still be offered. No action was taken on the proposed agreement Thursday. Kristy Brown said she recommended that school board members compare the changes before voting.


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