At a special called meeting earlier this week, the Coffee County Board of Education voted to roll back the millage rate to 16.161. The BOE discussed the millage rollback at the July 23 meeting and decided to table the matter until August.
Tensions were high as board members debated whether or not to approve the rollback and the implications that would result from either approving it or disapproving it. Board member Adam Lott spoke up against the rollback claiming that the dwindling funds for education in the area would benefit by leaving the millage rate at its current rate. The funds that would be raised would help to supplement the cutbacks the state has implemented to the Board of Education.
The other board members agreed with his argument and expressed similar feelings, but state law dictates that leaving the millage rate at its current rate would require a published ad claiming the tax rates were raised even though they are in fact unchanged. For this reason the board voted to rollback the millage rate to 16.161. Board members agreed that, with the help of principals, teachers and other staff members in the Coffee County School System, the tight budget could be loosened with appropriate cuts and creative budgeting.
School board chairman Judy Worrell brought up an item at the meeting concerning the frozen pay scale of bus drivers in Coffee County. She acknowledged that the pay scale for bus drivers had been frozen for a number of years and bus drivers were not being compensated for their experience. The issue was initially brought to attention at a recent back-to-work meeting for the bus drivers and since then Worrell has been working to come to a solution for the issue.
Board members agreed that the pay scale should be unfrozen but that there is a pay scale freeze on many positions in the system, including for para-pros and some administrative positions. The issue was tabled for a later date as more information could be gathered and a possible meeting with bus drivers may be scheduled.
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