Kingsport Times News Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Rogersville, Hawkins school boards trying to resolve bus bill dispute

November 13th, 2013 10:28 pm by Jeff Bobo

Rogersville, Hawkins school boards trying to resolve bus bill dispute

Hawkins County Board of Education Chairman Randy Collier (standing) invited the Rogersville City School BOE to attend a Transportation Committee meeting Monday to discuss a dispute over a $12,000 increase by the county for RCS student busing. Jeff Bobo.

ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville City School doesn’t plan on paying a pupil transportation bill from the Hawkins County school system until something is done about a surprise $12,000 increase.

RCS received a $90,000 bill in July from the county school system for student busing services, an increase of nearly $12,000 over last year’s bill, and $8,000 more than RCS had in its budget for student transportation.

The increase came without warning and two months after RCS had approved its 2013-14 fiscal year budget. There are 135 RCS students riding the bus this school year.

Hawkins County Director of Schools Charlotte Britton, county BOE Chairman Randy Collier and board member Debbie Shedden attended Tuesday’s RCS BOE meeting to open a dialogue about that pupil transportation bill.

As of the end of Tuesday’s meeting the issue remained unresolved and the bill remains unpaid — but the two school systems agreed to meet again at Monday’s county BOE Transportation Committee meeting.

RCS Director Rebecca Isaacs noted that two years ago the county bus bill was around $80,000, and last year it was $78,000.

In July RCS received an initial invoice for $94,556 for busing, which was later lowered to $90,349.

RCS had budgeted $82,000, which was higher than any previous bill.

Isaacs said she called Britton and stated, “I’m not paying that.” Isaacs noted, however that she didn’t mean RCS would not pay anything, and Isaacs has already offered the county the $82,000 which was originally budgeted.

For more on this story read Thursday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded e-edition.

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