Board of Education
Mask mandates continued to be a concern for the parents who addressed the Union County Board of Education at the September 9 meeting.
The closure of the system within a month of the opening apparently rekindled the fear of a mandatory mask mandate. Mask wearing has been and remains to be optional. But Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Schools, did alert the board to the fact that the policies regarding the pandemic were under review.
In the July Union County Board of Education Meeting, Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Carter explained that trying to develop a plan for the use of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds was extremely challenging due to the changes in the requirements that seem to occur almost daily.
Concerns expressed by Marty Gibbs, board member from first district, derailed the Skilled Services Contract at the Union County Board of Education Meeting on June 24. Gibbs expressed concerns that the contract had no performance bond, no quality controls, no schedule for completion and lacked AIA protections, yet required a 30 percent payout of the $1,337,400 up front.
Teachers and all certified personnel paid on the teacher scale will receive a salary bonus this spring due to action at the regular February meeting of the Union County Board of Education. Director Jimmy Carter explained that Governor Lee had proposed a starting teacher salary of $40,000 for the state teacher pay scale.
The Union County Board of Education met in a called meeting to discuss adding capital projects into the Five Year Plan.
Dr. Jimmy Carter, director of schools, distributed a list of the capital projects and their costs that had been completed over the last five years.
Finance Director Ann Dyer and Maintenance Supervisor Mike Johnson were present to answer questions. Carter informed the board that the current capital project of providing a heating and air conditioning system for the hallways of Luttrell Elementary had been placed on hold until after the meeting.
Dr. Jimmy Carter presented the incentive pay rubric for teachers who have participated in developing the videos for distance learning. at the regular October meeting of the Union County Board of Education The maximum stipend per teacher would be $1500 with the maximum cost to be $300,000. The funds would come from the Reopening Grant, the CARES Act Grant, and the Professional Development line at $100,000 from each source.
When Chairman David Coppock realized that the Union County Board of Education lacked a quorum and would need to postpone the meeting, he called on UCEA President Carolyn Murr to speak during the workshop.
Murr quickly described the current school situation, “Teachers are frustrated, worn out, and exhausted,” she admonished. “ Some are working until 2 a.m. to record lessons and do distance learning after they teach during the day.”
At its May meeting, the Union County Board of Education passed a balanced budget with increased funding. Teacher salaries will increase due to a raise in beginning teacher pay from $36,000 to $37,000. This raise causes an increase throughout the scale. There will be no longevity pay for seniority since all educators will get an increase in pay.
Chairman David Coppock called the first virtual meeting of the Union County Board of Education to order on April 9, 2020, with all board members present.
Director of Schools Jimmy Carter relayed a message from UCEA President Carolyn Murr. She thanked the BOE for the care and thoughtfulness shown during the pandemic, especially the distribution of food to the students.
School Board meeting April 2020
At the February Union County Board of Education meeting, Sydney Jessee, a parent of two school-aged children, addressed the board during the workshop.
Jessee had received an attendance letter regarding his older child's absences due to flu and a stomach virus. He related that his child had doctor notes for all but one day and he had written a parent note for the stomach virus.
Chairman David Coppock called the August Union County Board of Education Meeting to order and recognized Jimmy Carter, superintendent of schools, to present an award to the Union County Clover Team, who took second place in the national competition. Then Carter asked Lucy Russell Freyer to pay tribute to Carolyn Murr for her 50 years of service to Union County Public Schools. Murr has served as a physical education teacher as well as a classroom teacher and a coach. She currently teaches fourth grade at Maynardville Elementary School.
The corner lot at Highway 33 and Wilson Lane (Main Street) including the high school parking lot was the hot topic at the February 7th School Board Workshop. Marty Gibbs, 1st District Board Member, thanked Keep Union County Beautiful for picking up litter and trash on the high school property. Mr. Gibbs also commented that he had received several texts and phone calls from citizens and even students regarding the appearance and messages received by visitors especially during high school games. Mr.
A special thank you to Chantay Collins for videoing the January 10th 2019 Board of Education meeting. During this meeting we had some issues with the new audio equipment. We are working to resolve these issue and provide loud and clean audio in future videos.