A tense meeting ensued Thursday night in Columbia, as Maury County school leaders met with county commissioners to discuss this next year’s budget just weeks away from the first day.
Earlier this week, the Maury County School Board met and ultimately approved a $107-million budget for the school year.
School officials said this budget helps them maintain current staff without firing any teachers or losing benefits.
That proposed budget though is much higher than the county has previously provided.
Maury County commissioners met on Thursday and approved a budget of $99,097,827. Several teachers were in attendance and are wondering what this means for their future.
“I don’t know where the disconnect is, I don’t remember us being this far apart from that standpoint,” said Sonny Shackelford, 9th District County Commissioner. “They’ve never cut positions that I’m aware of, and we’ve given them year over year increases, so I struggle as to why they’ll need to cut people.”
School officials said the need for this revenue increase comes from several areas, including a growth in student population and the need to keep up with technology in a fast-paced digital age.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, we’ve got to look at every single line, every single bucket, and we’ve got to make some decisions moving forward,” said Chris Marzcak, Superintendent of Schools. “School starts in about two weeks, so we’ve got some critical decisions to make in a short amount of time.”
The deadline for the school board and commissioners to finalize a budget is August 31.