MADISONVILLE-In a packed room, the
Monroe County Board of Education covered a wide array of business on
Thursday night, in what would turn out to be a three-hour meeting.
A variety of special visitors graced
the audience, including Jim Stutts, State Sen. Jimmy Matlock, County
Commissioners Roger Thomas, Harold Hawkins, Richard Kirkland and Judy
Lee, Tellico Plains Mayor Patrick Hawkins, Hiwassee College
President Robin Tricoli and more.
To kick off the new business, new
Monroe Academy Principal Maurice Moser spoke to the board about the
three local high schools' athletic department funding.
In comparison to surrounding counties,
Monroe County athletics do not receive as much assistance from the
school system. The McMinn County School System, for example, owns
their own buses for athletic departments to use, provides fuel for
travel and pays all electric bills on both the football field and
field house, etc. Currently, the Monroe County School System allots $5,000 per high school to help with costs.
"Because of the distance that Tellico
has to travel, they actually pay more than we had to at Sequoyah," said Moser. "Sweetwater is pretty much in line with what Sequoyah
and Tellico are paying."
Moser said in order to have more level
playing field to surrounding counties, more assistance is needed.
Third District member Steve Rogers
questioned if the system had the money to do more.
"We're going to have to look at the
budget," said Director of Schools Mike Lowry. "At this time, I
can't give you an answer."
Last year's approximate utilities costs
were: $7,500 at Sequoyah High School, $10,700 at Tellico Plains High
School and $8,000 at Sweetwater High School.
Because the Alumni Center at Tellico
Plains High School is also used as a classroom, and the field houses
at both Sequoyah and Sweetwater are used as classrooms, several board
members felt the utilities for those should be paid for in full by
the school system.
"If that's being used as a classroom,
we should be paying all of that," said Rogers.
Third District member Jo Cagle made a
motion for the school system to look at giving each high school $10,000 each to be used for transportation and to put the cost of the
utilities for each school in the Maintenance Department budget.
"If it's in the budget," she said.
See full story in the Wednesday, June 19, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.