The BOE also approved increasing the cost of attending county high school football games to what surrounding schools charge and helped set the stage for sharing career technical education programs among county, Kingsport and Bristol, Tenn., high schools.
The property move, supported by the Lynn View Optimist Club that oversees the fields, sets the stage on which Kingsport could obtain ownership of the fields from the county and get the main Lynn View school property by buying it from Tri-Cities Christian Schools.
Blountville-based TCCS owns the school property but ceased using it for a school earlier this year, and the county must give up its right of first refusal before Kingsport can buy the property from TCCS.
BOE and Optimist Club member Jim Wells said the action would help ensure the ball fields continue to be used for the benefit of Lynn Garden, Sullivan County and Kingsport for years to come, including 450 children who play baseball and another 500 who play football on the fields.
In other action, the BOE:
• Approved increasing high school varsity football game admission from $5 to $6 per person. Officials said $6 is what other area schools charge and the hike reflects increased game and football costs. High school double headers and dual games go to $4, compared to current inconsistent charges of $3 or $4. Middle school athletic events go from $2 to $3 compared to the current charge of $2 for regular games and $3 for special games.
Wells and Jim Kiss of Bloomingdale voted for the proposal, although both said increasing prices eventually may discourage attendance at games and could hurt football finances. Vice Chairwoman Betty Combs suggested half-price student tickets, but school officials said none of the other schools do that.
• Went on record to pursue an agreement to allow county, Kingsport and Bristol schools to share career technical education, or CTE, courses, which CTE and school safety supervisor Jerry McMahan said would focus mostly on two clusters of schools: Dobyns-Bennett, North and South high schools in the western end of the county and East, Central and Tennessee high schools in the central and eastern area of the county.
For example, he said students from North, which has no cosmetology program, could go to classes at South or D-B, or that students in a school where a program was full could go to another school in the cluster if space were available. East and D-B offers agriculture classes, while the other schools don’t. He said it might be possible for students to go from one cluster to another.
• Left student activities fees for 2009-10 intact with no increases.
• Approved requiring school volunteers who have regular contact with students to have criminal background checks.
• Did not address the “school choice” proposal tabled at the April meeting so board member Jack Bales could be present for a vote. Instead, board Chairman Ron Smith said that would be discussed during a May 13 BOE retreat at Northeast State Technical Community College and put on the June agenda.
The proposal, which could shift 400 to 500 students from the county to Kingsport city, would no longer allow any student annexed since April 2006 automatically to stay in the county school system, and it also would not allow students in the 1979 Lynn View High School district to remain in the county system.