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Kingsport, Sullivan schools to benefit from BEP 2.0

June 26th, 2007 12:00 am by Christan M. Thomas

KINGSPORT - After months of anticipation, the state of Tennessee released final numbers Monday for the Basic Education Program 2.0 funding formula.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, Kingsport City Schools will receive a total of approximately $20.9 million at 50 percent for the 2007-2008 school year. That represents an increase of $2.3 million versus final dollars for the 2006-2007 school year.

KCS Superintendent Richard Kitzmiller said he was pleased with the new BEP formula.

"We are pleased with the recent revisions to the BEP formula," Kitzmiller said. "I plan to ask the (school) board to use the funding to support an additional 1 percent raise for classified and professional staff on top of the 3 percent salary increase the board has approved as part of the 2007-08 fiscal year. As we learn more about our opportunities and the kinds of emphases the state may have as part of the accountability components, we will look closer at the academic improvements we can make for the full range of students we serve."

In addition, Sullivan County Schools are expected to receive approximately $40.1 million in 2007-2008 under the BEP 2.0 formula. In 2006-2007, Sullivan County Schools received approximately $36.3 million.

Final numbers also show that Bristol City Schools will receive an additional $1.6 million in 2007-2008; Hawkins County Schools will receive an additional $3 million; Rogersville City Schools will receive an additional $33,800; Johnson City Schools will receive an additional $1.7 million; and Washington County Schools will receive an additional $2.7 million in BEP funds.

Under BEP 2.0, an increase of $346 million will be divided up among the state's school systems. Department of Education numbers confirm that all school systems will receive an increase in funding for the 2007-2008 school year. Memphis City Schools will receive the largest dollar amount increase with an additional $48 million for 2007-2008. Carroll County Schools will receive the least dollar increase with $6,900.

Sullivan County Schools Business Manager Harry Trent said though these numbers represent gross totals, more information is needed before making any budgetary decisions.

"We don't know the actual breakdown (yet)," Trent said. "As you've heard many people say, there are strings attached to some of these dollars, and we just don't know what they are right now. ... We got a gross amount, but without knowing exactly how that is going to be allocated, I think it would be foolhardy to discuss it."

Trent said Sullivan County school officials will be attending a meeting in Clinton on Thursday, where he expects to find out more on the allocation breakdown.

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