Sumner County school year delayed until budget reached - WKRN News 2

Sumner County school year delayed until budget reached

Posted: Updated: Aug 3, 2012 01:56 PM CDT
GALLATIN, Tenn. -

The Sumner County Board of Education voted on Thursday night to delay the start of the school year until a budget for the district is reached.

Around 27,000 students were set to return to class on Monday. A budget was supposed to have been approved last month. 

Last year, Sumner County was forced to reduce their budget by $5 million and currently has one of the leanest school district budgets in the state.

Without additional funding, the school board said teaching positions are in jeopardy.

In a letter, Sumner County Director of Schools Del Phillips III stated, "Without further assistance from our funding body, we will be faced with the task of making significant reductions in personnel, including teachers, which would cause a major disruption to the educational process."

Phillips continued, "If our Board is forced to make cuts to the classroom in September or October, the impact on instruction and on our students would be a much larger impact than if we postponed the opening of school."

"It's very troubling. I'm personally upset about it," said parent Zoe Doyle.

On Friday morning, students at Union Elementary School in Gallatin were told during announcements Friday morning that it would be their last day until further notice.

Union Elementary is a STEM and Demonstration school for grades K-5.  It's on a different schedule than the rest of the schools and is the only school in the district that started classes this week.

"It's confusing to our children," parent Tonya Graham told Nashville's News 2.

"The decision makers aren't thinking about what should be their number one priority, our children," Graham went on to say.

Many parents across the district are now scrambling to find child care until school is back in session.

Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt issued a statement saying, "It is unacceptable for our schools not to open."

He called a special meeting of the Sumner County Commission for Monday night at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Sumner County Administration Building on North Belvedere Drive in Gallatin.

It is open to the public.

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