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County officials approve minimum for schools

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By PETER SAWYER

JACKSBORO—The Campbell County Budget and Finance Committee approved the minimum $9 million for schools—requiring no tax increase.
“The school budget, for the county commission, is a funding issue only,” Campbell County Finance Director Jeff Marlow said. “When the school budget is reviewed, the thing you’re concerned with is how much money you are going to provide for them.”
Tennessee is providing  nearly $26.4 million in state funds for the school district’s budget. Campbell County is required by state law to provide the district with at least $9 million this year.
“We have a mandatory increase in local funding of $325,000,” Marlow said.
Each year the state pays about 1 percent less, requiring the county to pay 1 percent more.
But the BOE requested an extra $345,000 to pay for an additional eight School Resource Officers. The request could be funded with a five-cent property tax increase, Marlow said.
Committee member Bobby White made a motion to give the school system the minimum amount, without funding for the SROs— but also without the tax increase. Committee member Wendell Bailey seconded the motion, which passed with 10 yes votes. Committee member Steve Rutherford voted no. Committee members David Adkins, J. L. Davis, Bob Walden and Johnny Bruce were absent.
Rutherford and White asked BOE Chairman Josh Parker if alternative-funding sources for the SROs had been discussed.
The BOE discussed using a COPS grant the Sheriff’s Office applied for, revenue from the virtual school and the undesignated fund balance.