Knox Co. BOE sends $420M budget to mayor's desk

9:49 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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Tuesday night, the Knox County Board of Education approved a $419.86 million budget proposal for the 2014 fiscal year. That plan now goes before Knox County Mayor, Tim Burchett.

The board unanimously approved the superintendent's proposal, as well as his capital investment plan and nutrition budget.

"It's a budget that we've talked a lot about," McIntyre said after the vote. "It's a budget that really supports the educational priorities of the Board of Education and will help us continue to make strong academic progress for our kids."

The plan calls for about $13 million more than the current budget, for which McIntyre has outlined four key priorities: enhancing teacher compensation, sustaining instructional improvement initiatives, a pilot program for new technology initiatives and increased security measures at every school in the district.

"I think in terms of magnitude it's about one-fourth of what we requested last year and it's really very much in line with what we're looking at in terms of projected revenue for the coming school year and the coming fiscal year," McIntyre said.

The board spent more than six hours finalizing the budget's details during its Monday night work session, including a suggestion from board member Indya Kincannon. On Tuesday, she offered an amendment to reallocate $120,000 to pay for two Gifted and Talented coaches in the district. Part of that funding became available after the Finance Department agreed to roll out a rental payment on the Central Office space, at the Andrew Johnson Building. Initially a $270,000 expense, the district will only pay $200,000 next year and the rest the following year.

The remaining $50,000 for Gifted and Talented would come from attrition in the form of salary savings.

The schools represent about 62 percent of Mayor Tim Burchett's county budget each year, the latest of which he will present to the County Commission on May 1st.

"Dr. McIntyre and I have been working very closely," Burchett said. "My major concern is that the money gets to the classroom. I've reiterated that with him, and I think he understands that and I think the school board understands that. And I think we're moving towards a resolution. We're close, we're very close."

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