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McKenzie School Approves Budget, Waits on Tax Rate

Posted 6/23/20

McKENZIE (June 16) — Members of the McKenzie Special School District (MSSD) Board of Education approved the 2020-21 fiscal year budget but not the tax rate during their June 16 meeting. Also, …

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McKenzie School Approves Budget, Waits on Tax Rate

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McKENZIE (June 16) — Members of the McKenzie Special School District (MSSD) Board of Education approved the 2020-21 fiscal year budget but not the tax rate during their June 16 meeting. Also, the board honored three retiring teachers for their service. They were Lee Ann Coleman, Anna Holland and Marcia Webb.

Lynn Watkins, director of schools, said the $11.7 million budget will fund with a tax rate of $1.227 per $100 assessed value. That is equivalent to the same rate as 1997 when it was last changed. The county of Carroll underwent a property value reappraisal this year and the final certified tax rate is not yet released by the state. The board did not adopt the tax rate on June 16 because the state has not yet released the certified rate. The school anticipates no increase in the property tax rate.

The budget has an estimated $300,670 deficit, which Watkins said he “hopes not to hit quite so hard,” meaning he hopes the school system has less deficit than estimated.

McKenzie Special School District’s financing bonds retire in the 2021-22 fiscal year, leaving the district free of debt. The 2020-21 budget includes a $866,000 principal and interest payment on the bonds.

MSSD continues with its trend of fewer students each year, causing an attentive reduction in state funding based on average daily membership (student attendance).

While the number of students continue to decline, the school system is attempting to maintain to retain certified teachers. The average ratio of students to teachers is 13 to 1. A beginning teacher earns $39,115 plus benefits and can reach a maximum salary of $48,675 after 20 years, with a bachelor’s degree. Teachers with advanced degrees earn more. The budget includes a local two-percent raise plus a $1,000 bonus for all school personnel. The two-percent raise costs the system $129,000 and the $1,000 bonus costs $132,000.

The budget is allocated as follows: General Purpose Fund, $9,271,557; Federal Projects $1,045,628; Central Cafeteria, $805,141; Education Debt Service Fund, $879,318.

The school, as most schools in Tennessee, faces uncertainty of whether or not the schools will open as traditional on-campus education facilities in August or possibly later. The schools could open as an online school, all depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. MSSD is receiving federal funds to help with retraining teachers and to launch the online teaching of students. The funds would help purchase needed equipment to provide for each student. If in-person classes resume, the school will use the federal funds for intervention training. Newly retired teacher Marcia Webb was hired for a two-year contract to help students catch up at the elementary school.

Anticipated personnel at MSSD for the year 2020-21 include:

Faculty at McKenzie Elementary includes: Malissa Anderson, Beth Bailey, Lauren Banuelos, Chase Barton, Brandy Baumgardner, Josie Brown, Kelsey Brown, Kristi Brown, Lorrie Brown, Tonya Brown, Anita Burden, Kristina Collins, Dusty Emerson, Lauren Flannery, Courtney Fowler, Christina French, Alex Hayes, Hannah Haywood, Courtney Kee, Josh Kee, Katherine Keys, Sydney Lane, Cari Moore, Rachel Newman, Amanda Oakley, Kelly Simmons, Beckie Smith, Tiffany Smith, Mary Spivey, Jana Stafford, April Stepp, Amy Talley, Megan Taylor, Brand Turman, Joanna Turner, Chris Wall, Jill Warren, Amy Wilkes, Jill Wilson, Allison Winston.

Support staff at MES: Traci Baker, Cynthia Creyssels, Cathy Edlin, Gale Edwards, Gina Harper, Carol Hill, Daphne Jackson, Ginny Knott, Melodie Marr, Rocia Mejorado, Amy Scott, Derrinda Thomas, Mallory Welch.

McKenzie Middle School faculty includes: Audra Atkins, Sherrie Austin, Joe Baumgartel, Gretchen Boucher, Paul Carroll, Mistee Cooper, Cassie Ellis, Karlene Ellis-Brown, Veda Haney, Jessica Hochreiter, Rachel Johns, Rebecca Jones, Beth Mathis, Savannah Merchant, Amanda Morris, Jennifer Nelson, George Ognibene, Jill Renfro, Zach Renfro, Ty Riggins, Lori Robertson, Dorethea Royle, Kim Smith, Bess Toombs, Roxie Walker, Angela Winstead, Megan Worthan, Josephine Wright.

Support staff at MMS include: Patricia Allen, Karen Moore, and Vera Shipp.

Faculty at McKenzie High School includes: Keith Breeden, Trey Cantrell, Jackie Carr, Erika Cole, Wade Comer, Lesley Davidson, Paula Doster, Susan Dyer, David Featherston, Mallory Fowler, Billie Jo Hardwick, Hunter Herrin, Jordan Jowers, Cheyanne Kyle, Jeannine Lowe, Kim Lowe, Ashley Lowe, Traci Lunn, Carol Nanney, Jennifer Ognibene, Gina Pate, Dan Ridley, Shelia Ridley, Larry Joe Smith, Kelly Spivey, Randy Thomas, Zach Tippitt and John Wilkins.

Support staff at MHS includes Tammy Maxwell, Jamie Brown.

Resignations include: Breshaun Oglesby, Kerrick Owens and Michael Pershell.

New personnel include: Renee Hobson - CDC Elementary School, Valerie Blyler-Gurley-Education Assistant, and MMS Education Assistants Kevin Beck, Josh Middleton and Crystal Locke.

In a online survey of parents of students attending MSSD, Watkins said 88 percent of the 300 respondents included they wanted the school to open as a traditional school in August. The COVID-19 pandemic ended the 2019-2020 school year in March.

The board meets July 22 to discuss how the schools will function under new increased sanitizing and physical-distancing policies.

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