With a planned 4 percent teacher pay raise with the state supposedly to pay the increase, the Franklin County School system is wondering why its projected state Better Education Program appropriation is much lower than what surrounding systems are getting.
Dr. Amie Lonas, Franklin County Schools director, told the County Commission’s School Committee Monday that the local school system is expected to get about $330,000 to go toward the pay raise schedule. However, she said the amount would only provide a 1 percent system wide increase.
She said the Coffee County school system is getting about $1 million in additional BEP funding while Tullahoma is getting $750,000.
“I don’t understand why,” Lonas said, referring to the discrepancy.
She said the system’s student enrollment had been down, and maybe the state had not initially reduced funding to the school system based on the lower head count. She added that she will be trying in the next few days to find out why the financial difference is there.
The Tennessee Basic Education Program formula is a cornerstone of the Education Improvement Act of 1992, according to the State of Tennessee’s website.
The formula consists of 45 components that have been deemed necessary for a school district to provide a basic level of education. In addition, it calculates the cost of providing this basic education to the students.
The formula represents a continuing effort to determine the most appropriate levels of funding and the proper components for the BEP.
A variety of sources, including local, regional and national data on expenditures and staffing levels, provide information for specific funding levels.
Todd E. Dalton
Todd E. Dalton, the second of four defendants charged in the 2013 Corey N. Matthews’ murder, will go on trial Wednesday once the jury has been selected.
Last summer, David Jenkins, who was the first of the defendants to go on trial for Matthews’ murder, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole on June 9.
Matthew’s badly beaten body was found March 24, 2013, in a cornfield in Cowan by a Cowan Police Officer who been searching for the man after family members reported him missing.
Jury selection will begin at the Judicial Center, starting at 9 a.m., with Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Graham presiding.
Human resources and management (left) personnel with Beaulieu America, based out of Chatsworth, Ga., met with Shaw Industries Inc. Plant 24 employees at a job fair held at the Franklin County Annex’s community room on Friday. Beaulieu America is a floor covering manufacturing company with two of their plants located near South Pittsburg.
—Staff Photo by Philip Lorenz III
philip j. lorenz III
A well-attended job fair, for Shaw Plant 24 employees only, at the Franklin County Annex on Friday, brought out a range of emotions from the job seekers, some expressed optimism, others were concerned and some left with a job offer or an interview appointment.
When area businesses, community leadership, state labor representatives and even the top educational representative from Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville came together to help Shaw Industry’s Plant 24 employees find a similar job or transition to a new profession, it seemed like more than a job fair – almost like a social gathering.
Between 20 and 25 area businesses came together to meet the employees from the Winchester-based Shaw facility that will be closing its doors in August. The Plant 24’s associates wasted no time in making the rounds to meet with representatives from Zanini of Tennessee, Inc., Hamilton Kent LLC, M-Tek, Inc., New Life TN, Sonoco Solutions, Metro Industries, Yates Services, Transport National, the University of the South, beaulieu America, Motlow State College and many more.
The number of businesses actually exceeded the community room’s capacity and several had to set up their tables in the foyer and along the hallways around Franklin County Mayor Richard Stewart’s office.
Judy Taylor, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, was pleased with the turnout of local businesses, community representatives and Shaw employees at the job fair.
“It’s been a privilege for me to work with Camilla Wright on the local level,” she said. “We want to keep them here because they’re all good quality workers.”
Wright is Plant 24’s human services director.
Taylor and chamber members helped by posting signs locally promoting the job fair, which was for Plant 24 employees only. The Chamber members also sent the resumes of the facility’s management team to local businesses ahead of the event at the Annex.
Taylor reiterated that Rick Morgan, Plant 24’s manager and the chairman of the Chamber Manufacturer’s Round Table, and Kamilla Wright, Plant 24’s human resource director, and other business leaders took the lead to help make the job fair possible.
In early February 2016, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. announced its plan to consolidate the operations of Plant 24 in Winchester, Tenn., into facilities in the North Georgia area. The commercial broadloom carpet produced at Plant 24 will be produced at Shaw facilities in the Dalton, Chatsworth and Calhoun, creating a total of 81 new positions at various facilities in these locations. The transition will begin in April and be completed in August, resulting in the closing of the Winchester plant.
The company also has been working closely with the State of Tennessee’s economic development and labor group to inform associates at Plant 24 regarding retraining and job opportunities as well as unemployment benefits
Taylor acknowledged that the impact on the community has been difficult from both a business and personal perspective, but she thanked Shaw for the way they had risen to the challenge by working with the chamber and the areas’ business leaders to help Plant 24’s employees.
Cable TV, internet in Franklin, Moore counties could be affected by Comcast’s pole rental elinquency.
Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) members who are Comcast cable TV or internet subscribers in Franklin and Moore counties could experience a service interruption if the electric co-op is forced to disconnect power supplies and remove equipment for non-payment of pole attachment rental fees, according to an agency press release.
Notice was sent to Comcast that its facilities on DREMC poles are subject to removal unless overdue fees are paid prior to June 24.
Approximately 7,000 Comcast customers could be affected.
Almost two years ago, Comcast allowed a similar situation to develop by not paying annual pole attachment fees. The company averted loss of service to customers by finally making payment of the past-due amount and promising to enter into a new contract.
Comcast is still attached to DREMC poles without a contract and has allowed another past-due balance to accrue.
“We presume that over this period Comcast used these attachments to derive profit from services sold to customers in Franklin and Moore counties. Over the same period, we presume Comcast terminated service to its own customers for non-payment. Our contention is that no matter how large the companies might be that use our poles, they are subject to the same rules,” says DREMC President/CEO Michael Watson.
To ensure that DREMC members do not subsidize Comcast or others, the co-op charges an attachment fee that fairly reflects the cost of dedicating a portion of each pole for use by telephone, cable TV or other non-electric service providers.
Duck River sent notice to Comcast that, unless the delinquent pole attachment fees are paid, electric
service will be disconnected to Comcast power supplies, and the process of Comcast equipment removal will begin under the co-op’s direction. Comcast will be billed for the expense of equipment removal.
“We hope it does not become necessary for Duck River to take these steps. But it is unfair for tens of thousands of electric co-op members without access to cable TV or high-speed internet to subsidize the profits of a company like Comcast,” Watson says.
Tim Little, principal mechanical engineer with the Oliver, Little, Gipson firm, explains project details about both middle schools to the School Building Committee Thursday evening during a special town hall meeting at South Middle School
Members of the School Building Committee agreed Thursday there are many issues to consider before a final decision would be made on whether the system’s two middle schools should be upgraded or combined into one unit on a campus potentially near Franklin County High School.
The committee held its second of three town hall meetings on the subject Thursday at South Middle School with about 35 attending.
Pluses and minuses to both proposals were discussed.
A combined campus could lead to more educational opportunities because consolidation and staffing changes could free up more educators to offer advanced programs. Plus, a close proximity to Franklin County High School could allow middle school students to have easier access to high school level courses.
A downside to consolidation is that North and South middle schools have their independent traditions and changing that could be difficult for many parents and residents to accept.
Check out Tuesday’s Herald Chronicle print edition for more information on the subject.
Friends of the Franklin County Library invite everyone to their
book sale Oct. 12 through 14 during regular library hours at Franklin
County Library, 105 S. Porter St., Winchester, 931-967-3706. Hardbacks, paperbacks, children’s books, movies, CD’s available. Cost is $1 hardbacks, DVDs, and audiobooks; 50-cents everything else.
Animal Harbor’s fall rummage sale is Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8
a.m. to noon at Animal Harbor located at 56 Nor-Nan Road in Winchester.
To donate items for the sale, bring to the shelter Wednesday
through Friday, Oct. 11-12-13 from noon to 5 p.m. Proceeds will help
the shelter’s homeless animals. Please price your items (no clothing
Tims Ford State Park’s Heritage Day Festival is Saturday, Oct. 14,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring historical arts, crafts, demonstrations, music, food, games, and more. Demonstrators and vendors welcome. Setting up to sell wares/crafts is $30, but the fee will be waived for craftsmen actively demonstrating and involving the public. Call 931-644-4938.
Taste of Autumn Fall Festival featuring a chili cook-off, cruise-in and shopping Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Square in downtown Winchester, 1 S. Jefferson St. (closed to traf c). Chili Cook-off entry registration fee $25. Tasting armbands $5. Prizes first $275; second $125; third $100; people’s choice booth $50; people’s choice chili $50. Classic car cruise-in with first 75 given goody bags and dash plaques.
For more info. call 931-962-3393