Applications for Oak Ridge Schools tuition, cross boundary due April 25

 

Oak Ridge Schools Administration Building

The Oak Ridge School Administration Building on New York Avenue is pictured above.

The application period for renewing or applying for tuition and cross boundary applications for 2014–2015 in Oak Ridge Schools started April 7 and ends April 25.

The approved applications are good for one year. If your child was approved last year and has remained in good standing during that time period, you will not need to complete a cross boundary application or a tuition application for the upcoming school year, a press release said. You will receive a letter of your child’s status.

Cross boundary applications may be obtained at the schools, on the Oak Ridge Schools’ website or from the Pupil Services Department. Tuition applications may be obtained on the Oak Ridge Schools’ website or from the Pupil Services Department in the School Administration Building. [Read more...]

Follow-up: Comptroller to examine potential conflict

Information from WYSH Radio

Following up on a story WYSH broke last week, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said she has asked the state Comptroller’s Office to look into whether or not any rules have been broken regarding School Board member Dail Cantrell’s ownership of a recycling company that has done business with the county government on an informal basis in the past.

Cantrell is a 25 percent owner of Scrap Metal Solutions in Clinton, and the company was slated to receive scrap metal generated as part of the school system’s energy efficiency project. After Cantrell divulged his ownership stake in the company, Scrap Metal Solutions was removed from the contract under consideration, and attention shifted to a verbal agreement between the company and the county’s Solid Waste Department under which SMS would collect scrap metal from the county’s convenience centers and take it to a recycling facility. That agreement has been suspended until the direct or indirect nature of Cantrell’s ownership has been examined by the county law director. [Read more...]

School board approves Blankenship bleacher replacement

Blankenship Field Visitors Bleachers

Deemed to be unsafe, the visitors bleachers at Blankenship Field have been de, and replacing them could cost more than $500,000.

Note: This story was updated at 9:15 a.m. March 25.

The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a $455,000 project to replace the visitor bleachers at Blankenship Field. The bleachers had been deemed unsafe, and they have already been demolished.

School officials are hoping to replace them before the first home football game on Aug. 29. In a unanimous voice vote Monday, the school board agreed to use the school system’s fund balance to pay for the replacement bleachers.

Board members plan to ask city officials for additional help to finish part of the project, including a $69,000 handicapped ramp with switchbacks from the city-owned parking lot below the field up to the city-owned field, which is at Jack Armstrong Stadium in central Oak Ridge. The ramp could be built when the city renovates the parking lot. [Read more...]

School Board, City Council resolve high school debt dispute

Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education

A proposal to resolve a dispute over sales tax revenues and high school debt appeared to have majority support during a non-voting joint work session of Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education on Friday.

Despite opposition from a few residents and municipal officials, the Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education have resolved a dispute over Anderson County sales tax revenues and debt payments for the $66 million renovation of Oak Ridge High School.

The dispute, which started several years ago, centered on how to use the Oak Ridge school system’s portion of Anderson County sales tax revenues generated by a tax increase approved by county voters in a 2006 referendum. School officials had argued that they could keep their share of the revenues generated in the county outside of Oak Ridge, while city officials had said all the revenues, whether collected inside the city or outside of it, should be used for high school debt payments.

A resolution unanimously approved by the school board in February and the City Council in a 5-2 vote on Monday, March 3, allows the schools to keep its portion of the new Anderson County revenues collected outside the city. However, the resolution spells out how the money has to be spent: on technology enhancements, debt reduction, capital repairs and equipment, and grant matches and innovative educational projects. [Read more...]

School Board has special meeting, work session

The Oak Ridge Board of Education has a special meeting and work session at 8 a.m. Friday in the Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building at 304 New York Ave.

Action items include a budget amendment to transfer $1.75 million from the General Fund Undesignated Fund Balance to fund technology infrastructure improvements, and a Discovery Education partnership.

See the agenda here.

Council has special meeting on high school debt, school budget

The school board approved it unanimously on Monday, but a few City Council members have questions about a proposed resolution of a dispute over sales tax revenues and high school debt so they have called a special meeting for this evening (Thursday evening).

The special City Council meeting today starts at 6 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom at 200 S. Tulane Ave.

See this story for more information.

Council has special meeting today on high school debt, school budget

Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education

A proposal to resolve a dispute over sales tax revenues and high school debt had majority support during a non-voting joint work session of Oak Ridge City Council and Board of Education on Friday.

The school board approved it unanimously on Monday, but a few City Council members have questions about a proposed resolution of a dispute over sales tax revenues and high school debt so they have called a special meeting for this evening (Thursday evening).

At issue is a proposed resolution of the dispute over certain Anderson County sales tax revenues and debt payments for the $66 million renovation of the Oak Ridge High School.

Before it was approved by the school board on a voice vote Monday, the resolution was discussed in a joint work session with the council on Friday. A majority of city and school officials expressed support for the resolution during the non-voting work session.

It is next scheduled to be considered by the City Council on Monday, March, 3.

Tonight’s special non-voting meeting has been called by City Council members Trina Baughn and Anne Garcia Garland. [Read more...]

School board approves demolition of visitor bleachers at Blankenship

The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Monday will consider whether to demolish the visitor bleachers at Blankenship Field.

The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Monday approved the demolition of the deteriorated visitor bleachers at Blankenship Field.

The city’s school board on Monday unanimously agreed to demolish the deteriorated visitor bleachers at Blankenship Field.

Inspections have determined that the bleachers are no longer safe for fans, would cost too much to repair, and should be demolished immediately, a school official said this month.

“There is a very, very significant issue that we need to get on with,” said Bob Eby, Oak Ridge Board of Education vice chair, before the 5-0 voice vote on Monday.

The board hasn’t approved a replacement plan yet, but Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers said the goal is to have new bleachers by the start of the next football season this fall. The school system is looking at all options in case the bleachers aren’t available by then, Borchers said. [Read more...]

School board accepts extra $250K to avoid funding loss, school shutdown

The Oak Ridge Board of Education in two separate meetings on Monday quickly approved a budget amendment that accepts an extra $250,000 from the city, avoiding a potential loss of millions of dollars in state funding and averting an Oct. 1 school shutdown.

The additional funding had been requested by the school board, and it was approved by the Oak Ridge City Council in a 4-1-1 vote during a special meeting last week. After the council approved the extra money, the school board then had to amend its budget in two separate votes, or readings. Education officials are now expected to send the amended school system budget to state officials by Sept. 30. [Read more...]

Roane County Commission approves no-tax-hike budget

Information from WYSH Radio

The Roane County Commission approved its budget Monday night with no tax increase. School officials had been seeking a 14-cent property tax increase to help make up a $1.5 million shortfall in the system’s budget for this year. Without the tax hike, school leaders say that deep cuts will be necessary to balance the budget.

The school board is scheduled to meet next Monday to begin making those cuts.

School board considers ‘high performing’ district designation, camera system

The Oak Ridge Board of Education tonight will consider designating the school system as a “high performing school district,” purchasing a security camera system, and renewing the transportation contract.

Under a bill that recently passed the Tennessee General Assembly, the high-performing designation would allow the school system to use a teacher evaluation system that varies from the system established by the Tennessee Department of Education and add educational days to the district’s school calendar. The district could also apply to the state education commissioner for a waiver of any state board rule, regulation, or statute that “inhibits or hinders the district’s ability to meet its goals or comply with its mission statements.” [Read more...]