Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Commission says BOE should pay $219K

The Knox County Commission last night agreed that the school system should use its own reserve funds to cover the $219,000 supplemental appropriation that it requested to pay for the recruiting, hiring and training of 58 new security guards. (Story right smack here.)

After that, it gets a little strange. The board also somewhat committed to appropriating the remaining $1.7 million in ongoing starring expenses that the school system will need next year (and every other year).  The money, members said, would come through "natural growth" from current revenues, such as property and sales taxes.

It's almost as if the commission said: "You're going to use your own natural growth money to pay for this and not ours."

(Set aside the fact that it's really all taxpayer dollars and not "county" or "school" money.)

The problem, you see, is that the county commission can't exactly tell the school board how to spend money. It can appropriate the coin, but after that . . . well.

The language was put in at Commissioner Sam McKenzie's request. I get what he was doing. The school board wanted a commitment from the commission that if it covered the $219,000 the commission would approve the rest. That way, they didn't have to can 58 new hires right after they trained them. The language gave them that commitment.

The way it's worded, however, pigeon holes the commission. In the end, though, it probably won't be an issue as  all the money is really jumbled in one metaphorical pot of gold anyway.

The final vote will come next Monday.

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