The Cheatham County Board of Education met Monday night. Tammie Lavender did not attend.
Pay for bus drivers running field trips was also increased to $60 for day trips, $75 for night and weekend trips $90. The fee for field trips will go back up from .50 per mile to $1 per mile, which was the price before the 2010 flood. The motion was approved by a vote of 4 yes to 1 no, (Horton).
The board approved daycare cost hikes in spite of a large fund balance at the end of the 2011 – 2012 school year. “I think it’s horribly wrong that we’re sitting on a $600,000 in our daycare fund balance”, Greg Horton said. “There’s a lot we can do with that”, he added. The cost is going up $5 per child per child for extended daycare, as well as $10 more per child per week for the summer program. 15% of that will go to facility upgrades, 5% will go to day to day upkeep, utilities. The vote was 1 no (Williamson), 4 yes, (Michele Collins, Greg Horton, William Johnson and Dianne Proffitt).
Board Policy 4.602 was approved on final reading, concerning Class Ranking. The changes are viewable on the website: cheathamcountyschools.net.
This would have been Tammie Lavender’s last meeting after losing her seat in the August election. This was Greg Horton’s final meeting, and he took time to reflect. He apologized to the children and the citizens in the 3rd District, saying the schools in the northern cluster are still crowded with “no hope in sight for relief”. Horton said he had been “physically threatened and bullied constantly for fighting for our friends and their future”. He added, “that this new board has to realize that they are not experts, and they must learn quickly that they are public guides only”, and asked if they were “there to protect teachers and employees or to make a name for themselves”.
Horton went on to say that they need to elect a chair that “does not want to be the de facto Director of Schools”, that understands policy and the laws of the state and will follow them, and stand up to the commission. “This chair along with a faction of bullies have lied and smeared the name of a fellow board member to ensure one of her cronies will join her on the board. It is amazing that the citizens of the 6th district would elect someone, who to my knowledge has never attended a single meeting to even know what is going on. So why was he elected to follow orders, to fight for staff or to do what was right for our kids?”
He added that he is afraid that the system will once again become “an employment agency for the family and friends of the good ole boy system.” “What we do for our children is a long term investment”, but added that he was concerned that the new board and the citizens of the county are not willing to make the necessary investment, and wait for that investment to pay off.
The school year begins next week for students. August 30th at 6pm is a board work session. The next Board meeting will be September 4th at 7p.m.