School Board, council to meet

Published 10:14 am Saturday, May 14, 2011

FRANKLIN—Questions about the Franklin City Public Schools’ enrollment, graduation rate, the system’s ROTC program and teachers’ salaries could be discussed during a joint meeting of the Franklin City Council and Franklin School Board at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, at City Hall.

Mayor Jim Councill said the bodies try to meet twice a year after enrollment data is released. He said it’s a way for the council to have a dialog with the board.

Franklin School Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle calls the meeting a “state of the schools report” to council and said one of the biggest issues facing the board is teacher salaries.

The proposed school board budget includes a 1.5 percent one-time pay increase for contract employees, but Belle said the board would like to do more to attract and retain teachers.

She would like to discuss the possibility of an increase to the pay scale.

“That’s probably the most pressing things,” Belle said.

The bodies are sure to discuss the board’s new budget, which was presented to council Monday. City real estate taxes accounts for most, if not all, of the local funding represented in the budget, Councill said.

The proposed budget eliminates spending used for building maintenance. Belle said while no major capital projects are being discussed, cutting out money for repairs is worrisome.

“With dated facilities anything can happen,” Belle said.

The meeting usually takes place in the spring and fall of each year after average daily attendance is released. The school board receives state funding based on the enrollment numbers and the levels can fluctuate from year to year.

“It gives them a chance to talk and explain to us what they are doing,” Councill said. “It’s a way to see how their budget will work out after the ADM deadline.”

Councill said he is interested in finding out if the schools’ graduation rate is improving and if the ROTC program is where it should be.