Funding for Foundation questioned
Mary E. Hinds News Herald

The Loudon County Budget Committee has opted to send a request for funds from the Loudon County Education Foundation back to the county school board for consideration.

At Monday afternoon's committee meeting, Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp said his office had received a request for funds from the foundation. "Basically what they want is $16,000," he said adding whatever the committee wanted to do was alright with him.

Loudon County Schools opted to no longer contribute to the Education Foundation after an opinion from the state that local school boards cannot contribute to non-profit organizations. The foundation traditionally has received contributions from both the county schools and Lenoir City Schools. 

Arp told the committee Director of Lenoir City Schools Wayne Miller has consulted with Attorney Chuck Cagle who said the state attorney general had released an opposing opinion, but nether is binding. He said Rep. Jimmy Matlock wold be introducing a bill to clarify the state policy on such donations. 

Committee member Commissioner Don Miller said the question on a contribution should be returned to the school board. "They're the ones who should be judging this," Miller said adding he had no doubt the foundation does good work but he questioned the practice of not paying for a school expense from school funds but from the county general fund. He said he feared state auditors would think the county was playing games, which he said could be a concern at the yearly audit. 

Committee member Commissioner Harold Duff said the main thing was to ask if the Education Foundation is a good thing and if they could survive without the money from the commission. "The school board can judge the value of the effort," Miller said and moved for the funding request to be sent to the school board for consideration.