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Board of Education to consider energy education partnership

The Johnson County Board of Education welcomed Truman Atkins of Energy Education to Thursday evening’s board meeting. Atkins presented an informative partnership proposal focused on energy conservation, management and savings. The partnership is geared towards helping the district change its approach toward energy consumption without having to buy new equipment. After the presentation, the director of schools was asked to have the board attorney review the proposed contract and report back to the board at the December meeting.
After unanimous approval of the consent agenda, the board got down to business on Thursday evening approving changes to several board policies on second and final reading. These board policies include: Promotion and Retention, Evaluation, Separation Practices for Non-Certified Employees, Home Schools and Student Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying/Intimidation. All of the approved changes were upon recommendation of the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA).
Three separate resolutions, also recommended by TSBA, were discussed and eventually unanimously approved. The resolutions oppose potential legislation expected to come up in the next session of the Tennessee General Assembly.
The first was in opposition to the use of public funds for private school vouchers. A voucher program would grant parents vouchers equal to the average per pupil expenditure used in the public school system to be used towards tuition at private schools. The resolution notes such programs, which were first proposed 50 years ago, remain controversial.
The resolution adds that the state's constitution requires the Tennessee General Assembly provide for the maintenance and support of free public schools, and that public schools are required by state and federal law to meet certain accountability standards, such as meeting performance benchmarks on state-mandated tests. Private schools, however, are not required to meet those same performance standards, nor are they required to accept all students and provide for students with special needs. Private schools also do not prepare public budgets nor adhere to open meetings and records laws.
The second resolution was in opposition to mandated start dates of local school systems at the state level. Some in the state are advocating legislation that would prohibit schools from starting earlier than the fourth Monday in August, citing savings on utility costs and the potential increased revenue from tourism. Reportedly, Tennessee is one of 36 states that allows local school boards to set school calendars based on the needs of its parents, teachers, students and communities.
The third resolution voiced supporting the practice of boards appointing a director of school. Since the method of selecting the director changed in 2000, legislation has been introduced sporadically to revert to the practice of electing a director.
Student school board representative Lauren Martinez reported that everything was on track at the high school with anticipation regarding the onset of winter sports including the upcoming JCHS basketball season.
A discussion then ensued regarding possible enhancement of the area behind the Johnson County Middle School. “
A budget update was given by Russell Robinson indicating a slight increase in property tax and sales tax collections in relation to the same time last year. “October is the first month of any collections for current year property taxes,” Robinson reported. Robinson indicates it is too early yet to determine if this trend will continue.
The following personnel decisions were presented by the Director of Schools –
Retirement –Harvey Burniston, Jr. as CTE teacher effective December 31, 2011 and Glenn Hammons as bus driver effective November 1, 2011.
Hires – Andy Zeggert as ISS Instructor and Avery Long as part-time Coordinated School Health Asst. through November 22, 2011.
Resignations – Lyndsey Potter as daycare asst. effective October 25, 2011 and Jeff Pardue ISS Instructor effective October 28, 2011.