Elizabethton City Schools could face cutbacks in enrichment program

By Bob Robinson

&nbsp  Tennessee Commissioner of Education Faye Taylor has notified Elizabethton City Schools of a cutback in state funds affecting half of the student population enrolled in remedial and enrichment programs.
&nbsp  Dr. Judy Blevins, director of Elizabethton City Schools, was given until Oct. 31 to submit plans to the State Department of Education for "Gateway remediation and remediation in other subjects mandated for assessment."
&nbsp  Dr. Blevins said she and her staff are currently evaluating the full impact of this state revenue cutback. "On the surface, it means the remedial program will continue and the after school hours enrichment program will not," Dr. Blevins said.
&nbsp  State funds will be released to the Elizabethton School System when the plans are approved, according to Comm. Taylor.
&nbsp  Currently, there are 2324 students enrolled in the Elizabethton School System, which began the current fiscal year with an operating budget of $13 million.
&nbsp  A majority of the revenue, 51.4 cents of every dollar, comes from the State of Tennessee. Another 18.5 cents comes from local taxes and 17.7 cents from the City of Elizabethton.
&nbsp  Budgeted sources of revenue and expenditures for the current fiscal year are shown in the pie charts below.
&nbsp  A majority of expenditures, 57.6 percent, goes toward classroom instruction; 11.5 percent to capital outlay for construction and equipment; 9.4 percent for plant operation and maintenance; 8 percent for instructional support; 5 percent for school administration; and 3.5 percent for general administration.
&nbsp  The Cyclone Center, a preschool made possible through an early learning federal grant secured by Carol Whaley, director of special education, has been highly successful.
&nbsp  "We are at maximum enrollment and there is a waiting list of 55 to get into the Cyclone Center," Kathy Berry, director of the Cyclone Center, said.
&nbsp  Enrollment, by school, is as follows: West Side, 258; East Side, 244; Harold McCormick, 340; T.A. Dugger Junior High School, 536; Elizabethton High School, 886; and Cyclone Center preschool, 60.
&nbsp  "With appropriate funding, we will continue to expand educational opportunities for students as our student population continues to grow," Dr. Blevins added.