Place Ad
Contact Us

Knox County Mayor’s school 'overcrowding' task force to hold second meeting soon

The task force slated to study overcrowding in West Knox County schools is set to gather for its second meeting as soon as schedules for the small group of members can be coordinated.

The group, selected by Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, will work through the summer; its plan is to have a recommendation to the school board before the beginning of the school year.

A quick turnaround but Ragsdale, according to Knox County spokesperson Mike Cohen is “not a sit and think about it kind of guy.”

The group is part of Ragsdale’s effort to improve education in Knox County. But task force member Dana Stanfield, president of the Knox County Education Association and mother of a student zoned for Karns High School, said, “All we can do is offer suggestions to the school board.”

The group will begin by studying population data to come up with its recommendation. “Every potential option is on the table,” Cohen said. “The numbers will help us nail down the best solution.”

Chuck James was chosen as the task force’s school board representative. James said he is pleased to be a part of the group tackling a tough problem that faces his district. The first and only meeting, James said, was a “get to know each other meeting” and “Ragsdale made sure everyone felt comfortable serving.”

Another such brainstorming/advisory group that brings together county and school officials is an efficiency committee that looks at ways for the school system to save money. The group, also formed and headed up by Ragsdale, includes Knox County School Board Chairman Sam Anderson, County Commissioner John Griess and others.

The committee searches for services and/or costs that can be consolidated between the two groups.

One of its cost-cutting measures involved mowing contracts. In some cases, separate companies were used to mow parks, schools and libraries located a short distance apart, Cohen said.

“We could get a better cost by consolidating those areas,” he said.

Another consolidation, Cohen said, saved the school system around $600,000 last year when the county took over the school’s telecommunications, now overseen by the Public Building Authority.

Cohen said that if residents are interested in how Knox County and the school board are working toward improving education, the efficiency committee meetings are open to the public. The task force, however, holds closed meetings as it does not fall under Tennessee’s government meeting mandates.


News | Opinion | Sports | Business | Community | Schools | Obituaries | Announcements
Classifieds | Place Ad | Advertising | Contact Us | Archives | Search

© 2004-2017 farragutpress