Lenoir City BOE mulls new budget

Heidi Lara News-Herald.net

Lenoir City Board of Education considered Thursday the superintendent’s recommended budget additions of $1.9 million for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which includes a 3 percent salary increase for teachers and support employees, and the addition of a receptionist and custodian and maintenance position for the new downtown Lenoir City central office.

“These costs are reflective of where we’re going as a school system,” Jeanne Barker, superintendent of Lenoir City Schools, said. “These are initial recommendations, but we will have more discussion as we go through the budget meetings during the next two weeks.”

Six positions will be repurposed in the school system to include a kindergarten- through third-grade literacy coach, a personalized learning facilitator at both the middle school and high school, a response to intervention specialist for the high school, a licensed practical nurse at the elementary school and a certified middle school library position.
Changes to the food service budget for 2016-17 include a 10-cent increase for lunch prices to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture paid lunch equity formula.
Kay Bailey, food services supervisor, said the increase was based on the assumption that USDA meal reimbursements will also rise 3 percent.
Food service expenditures allow for a 3 percent raise for food service employees and a 7 percent increase for dental and health insurance.
Bailey, who is retiring, introduced replacement Vickie Bivens, current supervisor for the Monroe County school nutrition office, during the meeting.
Board member Bobby Johnson Sr. thanked Bailey for her service and welcomed Bivens to Lenoir City Schools.
“I appreciate the opportunity to come to Lenoir City,” Bivens said. “I come from a system of 12 schools, so although the work will probably not be less, it won’t be as spread out. I have already started calling the Lenoir City staff my girls.”
In other business, the board considered:
• A nonrenewal policy for nontenured teachers with a written notice received by the employee within five business days of the last instructional day for the school year. The previous date for notices to be sent out is April 15. “We simply need to change the date to be in line with the law,” Barker said.
• Construction of the United Community Bank building in downtown Lenoir City. According to school officials, the project is currently ahead of schedule. June 8 is the target date for completion.
The next board meeting is set for June 7. Barker and Jeanie Mowery, Lenoir City Schools business manager, will present the budget to Lenoir City Council on June 8.