SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
19 MAY 2023
The Chair Commissioner Shelly Goolsby opened the meeting by addressing Sheriff Kyle Helton and noting the recent shooting incident and the positive outcome for the county as well as also of note that some of the Teachers of the Year are in attendance at this meeting, calling out Ms. Lori Herd as a semifinalist for the Region. Dr. Vickie Beard also mentioned this is three years in a row that the Regional final list has included Giles County as a finalist. The minutes of 5 May 2023 were moved for approval by Commissioner Judy Pruett, seconded by Commissioner Terry Jones, contingent upon a correction to those minutes under other business as to when new salary raises would go into effect, that being July not August. Corrected minutes were approved unanimously.
The Chair noted that rumors had been circulating about teacher salary raises, and that the raises will all be funded from state funding. However, she also noted that for the following budget year 2024-2025 the county may need to look closely at county and state percentages of salaries. Commissioner Joseph Sutton moved that the 2023-2024 proposed budget for the General-Purpose School Fund be approved and with Commissioner Terry Jones providing the second, the floor was open for discussion. The Financial Manager (FM) Beth Moore-Sumners provided some general information, i.e., this budget is considerably larger for this budget year due to the significant increase to the salary line. She discussed Gov Lee’s Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA) program which was to be used mostly for teachers’ salaries. Before, Giles County was meeting the minimum requirements leveled by the state and with the increased salary rates, Giles County is closer to where we want to be, not just where we need to be, stated the FM. The FM discussed the Maintenance of Effort which cannot be reduced except in significant circumstances, and she also discussed the end range of salaries which can now be raised, resulting in some of the more experienced teachers who were at the end of that range now seeing a possible raise as well. The FM then went over the budget handout, by page, which showed audited actual, as well as 2022-2023 amended budget and 2023-2024 proposed budget. Although most of the changes were as mentioned the salary raises, she did address the following as well: MoE – any change the Board and the Commissioners would have to approve; any excess sales tax can be used for capital project funds; noted some safety grants; although not a new position, a reclassification of a media personnel; insurance estimates not available until salary info determined; no new buses, although can be done in amending process; Leaps & Bounds state grant may be amended to actual. The Chair thanked the FM staff and the school staff for their excellent and diligent effort. A call for voting resulted in the motion to approve this budget being unanimously approved.
The timing of the final approval of the raises is dependent upon several factors. First of those being receipt of the TISA funds, which in turn are provided based somewhat differently than the Basic Education Program (BEP) was. The TISA which replaces the BEP provides $6800 for all children where the BEP provided $7300. However, under TISA there are other “boxes” that can be checked resulting in as much as $17K increase for a student. Other factors such as being in a sparse district, or on some of the test results, may result in the funding acknowledging the needs of the county and serving the citizens better. Dr. Beard noted that the school system has some of the best people in place in leadership roles and that trickled down making the overall schools healthier.
The School’s cafeteria budget was discussed next. With that being a separate funded budget without using county funds, Commissioner Erin Curry moved for approval and with Commissioner Terry Jones providing the second, the motion was approved unanimously.
The School’s Education Capital Project fund, 177, was moved for approval by Commissioner Erin Curry, seconded by Commissioner David Adams. The FM noted this is for capital projects only and is shown for transparency. The budget will be depleted by the end of the year, and may need to be amended in July. Commissioner Adams asked about supply chain for the material ordered and Dr. Beard noted that they have some of the boilers ready to be installed, which will happen after the 26th, with no students in attendance. Other items were mentioned by Knox Vanderpool such as the electrical in the entire front hallways. With an expected ballistic shield requirement, questions were about some windows already on order but the requirement had been discussed with the general contractor. There are also some safety grants coming, although don’t have all the information. A call for voting on the above motion was made, and the motion was approved unanimously.
The School’s Education Capital Project #2 178 was moved for approval by Commissioner Erin Curry, seconded by commissioner David Adams and was approved. The FM said this line item is for major renovations.
Contingency TISA SRO grant – A motion by Commissioner Joseph Sutton, seconded by Commissioner Terry Jones, to take the funds for the current SRO funding of $132,250 and replace within the school’s budget the same amount upon receipt of the total SRO state funding was made and was unanimously approved.
Old/New Business – Commissioner David Wamble asked the FM if she could give a brief summary of the county’s overall budget. She said she would like to proof that budget one more time but she thought it would be balanced. She did note that while she was happy for the county’s teachers, she felt the county employees should be considered in future budgeting. She indicated the budget binders would be available by noon Monday. Dr. Beard thanked the school board, the county commissioners and the FM and her staff here today.
A motion by Commissioner Joseph Sutton was made to adjourn, and with Commissioner Terry Jones providing the second, the motion was approved unanimously.
ATTENDEES: Members of the Committee – Chair Commissioner Shelly Goolsby, Commissioners Terry Jones , David Adams, Caleb Savage, Gayle Jones for Matt Rubelsky (absent) , Joseph Sutton, and Erin Curry Other Commissioners in attendance: Evan Baddour, Judy Pruett, Tracy Wilburn, David Wamble, Annelle Guthrie, Roger Reedy, Tammy Mathus, Tim Risner, Rose Brown, Other Attendees: County Executive Graham Stowe, Financial Management Director Beth Moore-Sumners, Shana Woodard and Nancy Griffin, School Superintendent Dr. Vickie Beard and Knox Vanderpool, and Giles County Teachers, and member of the public