DICKSON CO., Tenn. – Students in one Mid-State county may soon be out of school because county leaders can't agree on a budget.
Dickson County faced an October 1 deadline to approve a budget or else the school district would lose state funding.
Commissioners met to vote on the budget Wednesday night, just hours before the deadline, but voted to go home instead.
At the beginning of the meeting, one commissioner said, “The school board has spoken, they don't want to transfer any monies to us and I think we need to take some action so schools don't have to close.”
That was the plan.
One possibility was to implement a property tax increase to make up for their more than $2 million budget deficit.
Lest than 40 minutes after the meeting started, they abruptly voted to adjourn and didn't resolve anything.
“That's cowardly,” said parent Cissy Byrne after the meeting. “They're refusing to do their jobs. We need to fire them, fire them!”
Parent Stanley England agreed.
“They were voted into those positions to fund our county, which includes our schools and our children's future,” he said.
Director of Schools Johnny Chandler said the school system has enough money to stay open until the 19th or 20th of October.
After that, he said, “we'll probably have to shut schools down.”
“We don't have the money to pay our people,” he added.
“This is our kids' education, they don't care,” exclaimed Byrne. “I hope the county commissioners have big homes because they're going to have a lot of kids to take care of so their parents can go to work and make a living so maybe their kids can get educated one day if they ever decide to do their job and pass the budget.”
October 1 was the deadline.
County commissioners will now have to figure out a new plan if they hope to keep schools open past October 19.
- Sept. 30, 2009: Critical budget deadline for Dickson Co. nears
- Sept. 29, 2009: Dickson Co. School Board rejects budget proposal
- Sept. 8, 2009: Schools face shut down if Dickson Co. budget not balanced