Anderson County school board to discuss compromise on raises

Information from WYSH Radio

The Anderson County Board of Education will meet in a special-called session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night (May 26) in the boardroom on the fifth floor of the Jolley Building in downtown Clinton.

The board is expected to discuss a compromise put forward by its Budget Committee to seek 2 percent raises for county teachers instead of the 4 percent raises they initially called for in budget negotiations. Funding just those raises at 4 percent would require the equivalent of a 23.5-cent property tax increase, which is highly unlikely to be approved by the Anderson County Commission.

Budget deliberations are continuing, and adjustments are still being made to the system’s proposal for the new fiscal year that begins July 1, including a reported $800,000 in cuts made last week by school officials.

Following this evening’s special-called meeting, BOE members are expected to meet with county commissioners to continue working on the fiscal blueprint for 2015-2016.

School board to discuss renaming Alternative Program as Secret City Academy

Oak Ridge school officials will discuss renaming the Oak Ridge Alternative Program as the Secret City Academy during a meeting tonight (Tuesday, May 26).

Here’s the rationale, according to the meeting agenda for the Oak Ridge Board of Education: [Read more…]

School board to consider budget, balanced calendar tonight

The Oak Ridge Board of Education will consider the proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 during a meeting tonight (Tuesday, May 26). It’s the first of two readings of the budget, and tonight’s meeting will include a public hearing.

Also tonight, the school board will consider balanced calendar options for the 2016-2017 school year. Three options have been presented. See the three options here: Oak Ridge Schools 2016-2017 Balanced Calendar, Oak Ridge Schools 2016-2017 Balanced Calendar B, and Oak Ridge Schools 2016-2017 Balanced Calendar B V2.

In other business tonight, the Board of Education will consider: [Read more…]

Application period for tuition, cross boundary apps for Oak Ridge Schools is April 6-24

Oak Ridge Schools Logo

The application period for renewing or applying for tuition and cross boundary applications for the Oak Ridge Schools is April 6-24.

The approved applications are good for one year. If your child remains in good standing during that time period, you will not need to complete a cross boundary application for the upcoming school year.

If your child is exiting fourth grade or eighth grade, a new application will need to be completed for the middle school or high school. Notification will be sent to you regarding your child’s renewal status. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge teachers, principals ask for 4 percent pay raise

Mike Haygood at Oak Ridge Board of Education

Mike Haygood, assistant principal at Jefferson Middle School, asks for a 4 percent salary increase on behalf of the Oak Ridge Education Association. At left is Steve Reddick, OREA co-president, and at center is Phil Cox, JMS principal.

 

Oak Ridge teachers and principals have requested a 4 percent salary increase in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Teachers said they’ve “gone backwards” in terms of real buying power during the past decade. And administrators said it’s become more difficult to attract quality applicants in part because of salaries.

It’s not clear yet if the requested increases will be approved or if the money is available or would require a property tax rate increase. There are a number of steps to complete before the budget receives final approval in June. Among other things, it has to be considered by both the Oak Ridge Board of Education and Oak Ridge City Council. [Read more…]

School board to consider balanced calendar, budget timeline

The Oak Ridge Board of Education will consider a balanced calendar for the 2016-2017 school year during a regular meeting tonight. The school board will also consider an updated budget timeline for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The Board of Education could consider salary proposals from the Oak Ridge Education Association and principals during the meeting tonight (Monday, March 30). It starts at 6 p.m. at the Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue.

The school board approved a balanced calendar for the 2015-2016 school year in a meeting in April 2014. This fall will be the first time that Oak Ridge has had a balanced calendar. [Read more…]

School Board to discuss Preschool, budget during Thursday retreat

Oak Ridge Schools Logo

The Oak Ridge Board of Education will hear an update on the Preschool and discuss budget scenarios and priorities during a Thursday retreat.

The retreat starts at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, February 12, in the Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue. The board will have lunch at 11:30, with the meeting being called to order at noon.

See the agenda here.

BOE: Fix lead paint now, prepare for new Preschool by 2016-2017

Oak Ridge Board of Education and City Council

The Oak Ridge Board of Education, seated at right, and City Council, left, are pictured above during a Jan. 15 work session on the Oak Ridge Schools’ Preschool, among other agenda items.

 

Finding a new preschool might not happen as quickly as some would like, but the city’s school board on Monday recommended a few first steps that could have children in a new building by the 2016-2017 school year.

The main concern now: Fix the lead-based paint on the decades-old home of the Preschool on New York Avenue. That repair could cost an estimated $150,000. A remediation plan could be submitted to federal officials and Anderson County education officials by March 4.

There had been some hope that a new home for preschool students might be found as early as this August. [Read more…]

Letter: Supports schools’ proposal for Preschool, Administration building

To the Editor:

Kudos to Dr. Bruce Borchers and the school staff for the creative and practical fresh look and proposal for resolving the dilemma of our 71-year-old pre-K and Administration building. I believe this solution is fiscally far more attractive and feasible than any alternatives that were suggested in the past. At this point, I am soundly behind it.

Kudos too, to Parker Hardy and the Chamber for being willing to discuss the possibility of letting their building be part of the plan. [Read more…]

Fillauer named East director for state school board group

Keys Fillauer

Keys Fillauer

Oak Ridge Board of Education Chair Keys Fillauer has been named East director for the Tennessee School Board Association.

The TSBA announced its officers and directors for 2015 at the close of its recent annual convention in Nashville. [Read more…]

Letter: Asks City Council to appoint Gooch as mayor

To the Editor:

Let me begin by saying thank you to those members of both City Council and the School Board who elected to not run again, and to those who did run but were not successful in their efforts. I appreciate each of them stepping up to the plate to make this community a better place, and I hope they all continue to remain active in a positive manner to keep this community moving forward.

Also, with the most recent election behind us and several new faces taking on the leadership responsibilities for the city and school system, I look forward to each of the newly elected representatives bringing their vision to the table and working with the existing members to make Oak Ridge an outstanding community to live, work, and play.

During the November 24 City Council meeting, City Council members will be electing a new mayor for a two-year term. In our “weak mayor” form of local government, the mayor has no power outside of Council, so the mayoral role is solely to lead the City Council meetings and to be the main representative of the city for various meetings, activities, and events. [Read more…]

2014 Election: School board candidates talk taxes, budgets, bus routes, Preschool

Oak Ridge Board of Education Candidates 2014

Oak Ridge Board of Education candidates are, from right, Mike Mahathy, Laura McLean, Bob Eby, Andy Howe, Paige Marshall, and Jean Hiser. Not pictured are Laurie Paine and Aaron Wells.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 10:10 a.m. Nov. 3.

School board candidates at two forums this campaign season expressed optimism that school officials will be able to continue to provide school bus transportation to most students in the next school year, and several said they would support a property tax rate increase if it were deemed necessary.

Bob Eby, Oak Ridge Board of Education vice chair, cited delayed staff raises and textbook purchases as well as capital project needs. Eby helped lead moves this summer to restore bus transportation to preschool students and then other students after the area where bus service is not provided was temporarily expanded to 1.5 miles as part of cost-cutting measures in June.

In August, Karen Gagliano, Oak Ridge Schools director of business and support services, said the $500,000 in fund balance money used to restore transportation and the delayed purchase of textbooks, among other things, means the school system could start the Fiscal Year 2015 budget discussions with a $1.8 million deficit, before anything new is added.

“I will ask for a tax increase next year,” Eby said. “We’ve put (off) all we can put off.” [Read more…]