Many Questions Remain About SCS Budget

(Shelby County) The Shelby County School Board approved the 2014-15 budget Tuesday evening.

The vote ¬†for the $947 million budget was unanimous, and restores some pre-K classrooms and some teacher salaries, but specifics on which classes were saved aren’t available.

Foreign Language classes are still being cut, as is drivers education.

The only items seeing more funding are charter schools and contracted services.

Teachers, parents, and even those with no personal stake stood up and let the board have it Tuesday night.

“We’re in the trenches every single day. Please respect us,” said one teacher.

“We need to see the full budget,” added a community member.

But the final plan wasn’t unveiled until just before the meeting, angering many that the board wasn’t as transparent as promised.

“I can’t win this fight, without some support,” added Louis Padgett, principal of Northaven Elementary.

Padgett said the board’s decisions in the dark caused him to lose some of his best kids to charter school, when he could have kept them if only he’d known the board was adding classes.

He said they need more communication and more money.

“If you’re going to put $9 million somewhere and put nothing in northwest Shelby County, I’m in a fight,” added Padget, who lost 6th graders to charter schools when they could have stayed at Northaven for middle school.

Cost of living raises were cut, as were later bell times, which board members hope to find funding for later.

They also say that yes, the final numbers of what will were late getting out, but the changes were all good news for those fighting for services.

“There weren’t a lot of major changes, that budget has been paraded around. They’ve seen it for quite a while, and the changes were directly related to the comments,”said Board member Teresa Jones.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson added, the budget process was always going to be filled with emotion, but it’s the boards job to be fair to all,

“Everyone tells me how important it is to not cut their stuff. People say, ‘I don’t care about that stuff, I care about my stuff,” added Hopson.

He said these cuts were what was needed as a whole.

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