Cumberland County Passes School Budget

CROSSVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Cumberland County students will go be back in the classroom tomorrow because the schools have a new budget tonight.

But some projects will suffer.

The superintendent submitted the budget today and received the state money this afternoon, so Cumberland County schools can remain open.

However, some parents though are frustrated that it took the commission so long to pass their budget.

Among them is Dean Bosteels who has 4 kids attending Cumberland County schools.

“I can't understand how this situation has gone on this long," Bosteels said.

The situation he's talking about is the education budget that year after year barely passes.

“Mathematically, the situation we look at every year is deteriorating and it needs to be looked at and stopped," he said.

The Cumberland County commission finally passed a $46 million budget including $1.2 million for capital improvement projects.

"I'm relieved to a have budget, but I never want to go through this again," said Aarona VanWinkle, the superintendent of schools.

They'll be able to fix the leaky roof at Cumberland County High and have the sewage fill lines fixed at Pleasant Hill Elementary.

But pavement repairs will have to wait since there is very little left in the budget.

"I truly believe that if we have a dire emergency, the county commission will help come up with the funds," VanWinkle said.

District 8 county commissioner Jeff Brown says complaining parents really just don't understand county government.

"I don't think any of us are anti-child,” he said, “but with a 17 percent increase at your office, you'll have to answer a lot of questions, I promise."

Parents like Bosteels are not satisfied with that answer.

"It has gone on long enough and I hope someone does something about it and helps the community and do something about it," he said.

For those wanting to do something about it, Superintendent VanWinkle says parents will find out later this fiscal year what they can do to help the school financially.

The school system is still facing a $4 million deficit for next year.

To solve future funding problems, the county is going to talk about a referendum wheel tax at the next commission meeting.

That meeting will happen on November 19th at 7 pm central time at the Cumberland County courthouse.


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