Before voting for the changes, Lasater said, “I’m so strong for these changes because these coaches do a lot to keep these kids out of trouble and getting good grades.” He also pointed out that sports keeps a lot of kids out of his patrol car. Lasater is employed by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department.
Cook said she knew there were no good choices, “But we can only hope the county commissioners will do what’s right by the schools.”
The cuts will eliminate In School Suspension aides in all 12 elementary schools and cut two teaching assistants from each elementary as well, but 179 coaches and activity sponsors will get the supplemental income back.
Davis added that while any cuts are not going to be pleasant, these teaching assistants could all qualify as substitute teachers. “I can ask the principals to put them at the top of the list when subs are called,” he added.
The cuts will also eliminate the Teacher in the Workplace Program, reduce the amount available for fee waivers for low income students and reduce the total amount budgeted for fuel for the upcoming year.
This is in addition to eliminating new buses and bus routes, not filling additional personnel positions planned for the new Elzie Patton Elementary in Mt. Juliet, eliminating furniture allocations for all schools and eliminating the Beacon Reading Program as was already announced.
The plan will also require taking $954,028 from the fund balance.
Davis said borrowing from the fund balance was not good. “This will come back to bite us next year,” he said. “We’ve used one-time money to pay recurring expenses. Next year the expenses will be back, and the money will be gone.”
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