Bradley School Board Told It Has Solid Case On Getting Funds From Liquor By Drink Tax; Board Critical Of Quick Common Core Implementation

Friday, February 7, 2014 - by Tony Eubank
CTAS consultant Gary Hayes addresses the board
CTAS consultant Gary Hayes addresses the board
- photo by Tony Eubank

The Bradley County Board of Education opened the floor to Attorney James Logan and CTAS (County Technical Assistance Service) consultant Gary Hayes, who provided updated information on the liquor tax statute. Mr. Hayes, who consults in seven counties that collect liquor by the drink taxes, informed the board that together (Municipal Technical Assistance Service) and CTAS have collaborated with the state of Tennessee to put TCA 57-4-306 in simpler, narrower terms.

The statute now reads in part as follows, “Any money that goes to the city is to be distributed as follows: Half is expended and distributed in the same manner as the property tax for schools (which means that it is to be shared on a WFTEADA (weighted full-time equivalent average daily attendance basis) with all LEAs (Local Education Agency) within the county under TCA-3-315). If the city has a school system, the city divides the money among all the LEAs in the county. If the city doesn’t have a school system, it sends this entire half to the county. The county apportions the money among all LEAs in the county if there are multiple LEAs. If there are no other LEAs in the county, all of this money goes to the county school system.”

Mr. Hayes said that the confusion was caused by the previous wording of the statute and that it is understandable that there were previously varied interpretations. It was previously stated that the county was owed about $700,000, but a new estimate puts that amount closer to $800,000.  Mr. Hayes said that the new wording makes it clear that Bradley County should receive at least some of that money, but that the state was leaving it up to the local government bodies to work out on their own.

Attorney Logan said that now that the statute has been reworked, there really is no way that the city can keep it all, “I don’t know of any attorney at the state level that has a different interpretation of this.”

Various municipalities, counties, and school systems have chosen a variety a ways of working out a compromise on this issue. It was suggested by a few of the board members that some of this could go towards monies owed to the city by the Bradley school system. Attorney Logan was confident that a resolution could be found, as the Cleveland City Council invited the Bradley County Board of Education to sit down with them and make their case. “I’m going to take this invitation in good faith,” said attorney Logan.

The board also presented its official perspective on the newly adopted Common Core standards. The board’s resolution was researched and written my board member Charlie Rose, who could not make the meeting. It was read by board chair Vicki Osment-Beaty. In the resolution the board took the following stances,  "The instant, global implementation of Common Core Standards for all 3rd through 12th grade students could be highly disruptive to student growth. The implementation of Common Core Standards in parallel with current Tennessee Standards dilutes the effectiveness of teacher lesson planning. The Board of Education recommends that the use of PARCC assessment results not be used as part of TVAAS for the purpose of the teacher evaluation and teacher licensure granting, renewal, or removal. And be it further RESOLVED, that the Bradley Count, TN Board of Education REJECTS the collection of personal student data/information for any non-educational purpose without prior written consent of an adult student or a child student’s legal guardian and that it rejects the sharing of such data/personally identifiable information, without prior consent of an adult student or a child student’s legal guardian, with any person or entity other than schools or education agencies within the state.”

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