Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Jim Scales said today the district may have to close three schools to balance next year’s budget.
The move would be in response to the Hamilton County Commission’s decision to hold in escrow about $6 million in payment-in-lieu-of-taxes money the school system had planned to use for its operating budget.
Scales refused to name the schools.
“Keep in mind, I don’t care how inefficient a school might be on paper, these are live bodies there. And it’s pretty late in the year to do that,” Scales told Hamilton County Board of Education members during a finance committee meeting this afternoon. “But we can put our finger on three schools we could reasonably close without a lot of construction.”
Cuts to balance the fiscal year 2012 budget would include $300,000 in central office positions and an assumed $2 million less in health care expenses.
Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...