Middle School Issue Could Go To Voters ... Eventually

TONY STINNETT, Courier Co-Editor

Cannon County will not have a middle school format for the 2011-12 school year; however, the debate as to whether to transition from its K-through-8 grammar school format will continue into 2012.

The Cannon County Board of Education, by a 3-2 vote, rejected the Middle School Study Committee's recommendation to put the issue to the voters through a referendum during its regular monthly meeting at East Side Elementary School Thursday night.

Instead, the Board voted 4-1 to table the recommendation and have the Middle School Study Committee continue to research the issue and come back with specifics (i.e. cost, format, location, what will be included, size) for the referendum.

"If (the Board) votes tonight we don't know what we are voting on or how the referendum is going to read," said Board Member Cathy Hyatt. "I can't vote on something when I don't know what I am voting for. No one has said how the referendum will read. We need specifics so the (citizens) will have information when they vote."

The seven-person Study Committee's recommendation read:

"It is the recommendation of the Middle School Committee to allow the citizens of Cannon County to make a decision regarding a middle school through a referendum in August 2012. Prior to the referendum, voters will be given a detailed middle school plan including cost, structure, and location."

The Board asked the Study Committee to have its new recommendation prepared by the end of September, 2012.

A complete recap of April's Cannon County Board of Education meeting will appear in the April 19 edition print edition of The Cannon Courier and at CannonCourier.com.