KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Knox County Commission made its decision: $7 million dollars was awarded to the Knox County School System, instead of the $35 million originally requested.
The Commission voted to award schools the $3 million County Mayor Tim Burchett asked for, plus another $4 million, totaling 20% of the $35 million originally requested.
The vote came after weeks of debate over a $35 million budget increase for Knox Co. schools, and a lot of public input. At a special forum late Monday afternoon, over 35 people are set to make their final arguments on whether commissioners should back the increase, which would most likely require increasing taxes.
The debate lasted into the evening, after which commissioners voted.
They also considered a tax rate increase to pay for the new school budget.
Fourth District Commissioner Jeff Ownby, who was arrested recently for indecent exposure, hadn't arrived by the time the forum started but did arrive later.
Knox County School Superintendent Jim McIntyre proposed the $35 million budget increase earlier this year, meant to increase technology and teaching aids in schools.
Knox Co. Mayor Tim Burchett opposed the increase because he said it would require a tax hike and did not include it in his budget. Burchett promised to veto any measure that would raise taxes if voters were not allowed to vote on it as well.
Previously, the Commission overwhelmingly approved the plan in a mock vote.