Knox Schools create position in face of an uncertain budget

Board members voted to create a Central Office Clerical Assistant position at the special called February 1 Knox County Public Schools meeting. The decision was not a unanimous one given uncertainties surrounding the 2018-19 budget.

Charlotte McCoy, director of special education, stood before the board, citing how overworked her department is. McCoy said they have simply not been able to keep up with their job load, including the mandatory review of reports.

“We don’t have the man power to do it. We just don’t…My secretary is staying late,” said McCoy, who noted she is also working until 7 p.m. every night. “At one time, there were six people doing the job that two of us are doing. I’m all about saving the district money…but I can’t take on anything else.”

With an audit coming up in March that McCoy needs to prepare for or risk losing a lot of money for the district, she pleaded for help.

“I know we’re looking at a tight budget, but is it worth risking this much money to not have our ducks in a row?” continued McCoy.

The board voted to approve the new hire through the end of the fiscal year, June 30. This position will be paid for out of funds that can only be used for Title 1 salary. If the school district had not put those funds to use, they would have lost them.

Peggy Gray was the only board member who voted no.

“To the public, they’ll say, ‘Well, they’re about to go broke but yet they’re making more jobs,’” countered Gray.

Also on the agenda, a letter stating the district’s intent to self-perform the Lynn Camp softball restroom project was accepted and will be sent to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) in Frankfort. The board rejected the bids submitted for the project due to them being “grossly over the budget.” Instead, the district will self-perform the majority of the construction portion of the project, using licensed contractor employees with the board of education, as stated in the letter. Any other areas of the project the board needs help with will be locally bid out.