In the spirit of collaboration, the Oak Ridge Schools would like to share pertinent information in regard to the current maintenance of effort (MOE) issue that faces our community. Tennessee law requires that local governments fund local school systems by at least the same amount each year.
In August, Oak Ridge Schools were notified by the State Department of Education, Office of Local Finance, about the failure to pass the MOE test. Failure to correct this problem by Oct. 1 will result in a loss of Basic Education Program (BEP) funding at a rate of $1.87 million per month.
The only possible resolution to satisfy state law is an increase in local funding from the city general fund in the amount of $250,000. This budget amendment would need to be approved in two readings by City Council, and two readings by the Board of Education.
Numerous meetings have occurred between city and schools staff. In addition, the “high school debt/potential failure of MOE” item has been an ongoing discussion for the past two years. To date, no meetings have been scheduled by the City Council to make the necessary budget amendments. [Read more…]