BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Sullivan County Commission has passed a resolution to prevent the county school system from shutting down.
The County Commission approved a resolution by Commissioner Mark Vance that appropriates $800,000 to the Sullivan County Department of Education.
“We appropriated $800,000 that will be in the reimbursement account. At the end of the year, the school system can requisition us for that money if the 2% was a true loss in ADA funding,” said Vance of the 19 YES- Two abstain- three absent vote.
Tuesday night’s meeting was not just attended by county commissioners and the public but officials from Nashville via video conference.
“The action that you are potentially going to take tonight is very important but it will also require some quick action by the board of education and then the actual process of submission of the new budget based on this,” said Jason Mumpower, the Deputy Comptroller for the state of Tennessee.
Also on the line- the Chief Financial Officer for the Tennessee Department of Education, Drew Harpool.
“What we are looking for in the very near future is a budget that meets our maintenance of efforts requirements- properly submitted into our system and approved by the director of schools, the board and county clerk,” said Harpool.
The special called meeting comes after the state notified county leaders that its school budget did not meet minimum funding requirements.
The school system warned it would have to cease operations if county leaders didn’t fix the school system’s budget.
“The decision to cut the amount of money proposed from Sullivan County Schools is a regressive one. It will send Sullivan County’s children. teachers and the county itself backwards instead of forward,” said Mason Mosier during the public comment portion of the meeting.
After the vote Sullivan County Director of Schools, David Cox told News Channel 11 that he is happy the state joined in on the conversation.
“I feel a lot better hearing the representatives from the state department of education speak to this and them being part of the rewrite of the resolution,” said Cox
The school board will have to approve the county’s resolution in order to avoid losing state funds. The board is set to meet Thursday night.