Last week Knox County Schools (KCS) launched a survey about the “balanced calendar.” We encourage you to take the survey and share your concerns.
Here’s the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Balanced_Calendar
To our knowledge, KCS has not yet disclosed how much this proposal will cost; where they will get the money; how it will be determined which schools may offer intervention and/or enrichment; how the students will be selected for intervention and/or enrichment; and whether or not the schools will provide transportation.
A Knox County Commissioner recently told me that the entire public needs to understand the economic impact of this proposal. Currently KCS is spending more than half a billion dollars per year, and .62 cents of every tax dollar is spent on schools. Some Knox County citizens may think, “Oh I’m not concerned, I don’t have children.” Or, “My child attends private school so this doesn’t affect me.” YES! If you pay Knox County taxes – THIS AFFECTS YOU. And, as we have been researching calendar issues with regard to budgeting, we have looked at the KCS budget, and it is sickening the amount of money that has been absolutely wasted or cannot even fully be accounted for.
Once County Commission gives funds to KCS, they have absolutely no voice in how the funds are used. In some cases Commission has been asked for funds for a specific purpose and when providing those funds to KCS, the dollars were not even used for what the schools asked for.
Knox County is discussing that Gibbs and Hardin Valley need middle schools, the teacher’s need raises, and a balanced calendar is also needed. Based on school districts around the country, a balanced calendar will skyrocket our budget by millions.
We can support new schools when needed and support our teachers always, but we don’t want our tax dollars going to an unproven balanced calendar proposal that with the exception of a lower socioeconomic demographic and non-native English speakers has any factual data that it actually works.
If you have not yet contacted your school board representative to voice your concerns, now is the time to do so. Here are their emails. Just copy these into your “To:” field and send them a quick note. We recommend copying all school board members on all messages.
And THANK YOU to the many of you (camp parents) that have already made contact and kept us in the loop.