Little More On MOE
|Predictably, the recommendation by the Loudon County commission
budget committee to reduce the Maintenance Of Effort, MOE, funding to
the school system has created a political firestorm.
School board members and administrators from both the Lenoir City and Loudon County school systems have pulled out all the stops to stop the funding reduction. County school employees have been told that proposed raises for staff would have to be receded if the MOE funding is cut.
There is a state law called "maintenance of effort" (MOE). The effect of the maintenance of effort law is that the county commission can never reduce the amount of funding it provides to the schools from one year to the next. But there is one exception. If a school system's enrollment goes down, the amount of funding required under the maintenance of effort law can also be reduced. County schools enrollment has fallen by around 10%.
If commission does vote to reduce the funding, Loudon County schools could be reduced by about $296,000.00. And since all the funding from the county to the county school system is shared with the Lenoir City on a per student ratio, Lenoir City schools could be reduced by about $162,000.00 So total dollars returned to the General Fund would be about $460k. This year's total budget for Loudon County school system is about forty million dollars.
Commissioners have an almost once in a lifetime opportunity to adjust funding to the school system to more closely reflect their current population. If it stands to reason that as enrollment rises, the school system would need more funding doesn't it also stand to reason that if enrollment goes down, the schools would need less funding?
Commissioners are under enormous pressure not to support the funding cut. The four commissioner on the budget committee have made the recommendation to cut the funding. It would require a total of at least six of the ten commissioners to vote for the cut to make it happen. It will be interesting to see how this vote goes.
The budget vote meeting will be August the 8th at 6:00 at the Loudon County Annex.
since all the funding from the county to the county school system is shared with the Lenoir City on a per student ratio, the city system will also see a reduction in funding.