School board to meet in special session on budget

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The Cannon County Board of Education will meet in a special called session on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Office on Main St. to examine the proposed 2018-2019 General Purpose School Budget.

The Board had hoped to approve its General Purpose budget at its regular monthly meeting on May 10, but was unable to so because the state has not yet finalized teacher salary scales.

Also, due to increased expenses for salaries and benefits, plus the addition of new positions such as counselors and vice principals, the current proposed budget the board is considering has the school system going over $1.4 million into its reserves, Director of Schools William Curtis noted.

Three growth positions are also included in the current proposal. School officials say there is almost always some growth positions each year due to student numbers in some grade levels.

The board is under a tight deadline to finish its budget work because it must be presented to the Cannon County Budget Committee and then to the Cannon County Board of Commissioners for consideration and approval.

At its May 10 meeting, the school board approved the proposed budgets for other areas of school system funding, including Perkins CTE, Food Service, IDEA and Federal Programs.

The board also approved a request from principal Connie Foster to build a gazebo/outdoor classroom at East Side School. The construction will be funded by a Lowe's grant and school fundraisers. The 20-feet by 30-feet structure will cost less than $10,000. To offset some of the labor costs, inmates from the Cannon County Jail will perform some of the work.

Because of problems with the testing process caused by Internet connection issues, the board, at Curtis' recommendation, decided that zero percent of the TN Ready test scores shall count on a student's final grade.

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