Tony Norman talks turkey on school funds

Tony Norman has a bone to pick, and he doesn’t plan to finish his term on Knox County Commission as a lame duck. Norman, himself a former teacher, was fired up about some Knox County Schools budget normanissues earlier today. Read on:

When the teachers get a 3 percent raise so do people in the administrative range … it sounds to me like they’re cutting at the wrong end of the salary scale … when there are talks about cutting janitors and other people inside the building, in my opinion, I wish the (school) board would look in the other direction. You can cut about 50 percent of the administration, and then with that cut the policies that are driving the teachers crazy, and with that cut $5,000 off of those who are making $85,000 or more, and then cut $10,000 off the (Knox County School Superintendent Jim) McIntyre’s salary … but that’ll never happen …

… three percent (the proposed raise for taechers) means that we going to have to go into our fund balance. You don’t go into the fund balance for recurring expenses … their (KCS) fund balance has been depleted because they took on capital and they have tons of that down and they’re kind of in a jam now …

Those are my basic observations. The cuts are in the wrong place.

Then he switched gears to cover the teachers survey – which showed teachers weren’t too happy with the school system, but were pleased with their respective schools. According to Norman, the upcoming issue on the budget will be a battle line drawn over teacher salary increases, a matter that will be kicked to the mayor and county commission to solve which includes a subtext that – if the raises aren’t approved as a part of the budget increase – then the mayor and commissioners must not support teachers as much as they claim they do. It’s similar to the argument that Mike Brown had in today’s story, in which he called the KCS budget proposal “blackmail.”

The board isn’t addressing that (teacher survey). Nobody is addressing that …

This is a redirect. ‘Let’s get the teachers on our side and lets just make this budget issue in terms of salary increases.’

… the incentive systems and the TVAAS, the evaluation systems and all that stuff which caused the basic uproar was just like it was … certainly, (those policies) haven’t been cut, and there’s no telling how many so-called coaches – who are administrators, they’re outside the classroom – how much does it cost for all those guys?


About Gerald

A journalist in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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