Franklin County Schools: Nissan, Fine Arts, Fees


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the June 10 meeting the Franklin County School Board recognized Nissan for its contributions to the Franklin County Schools and heard an appeal from Jonanne Hammer, 2023-2024 music teacher at Clark Memorial Elementary, representing Arts Ed Matter FC, a Franklin County arts-education advocacy organization. The board approved the School Fees schedule for Franklin County and Huntland high schools and authorized Huntland to move forward with plans for a regulation size soccer field on city property. Board member Sarah Marhevsky’s legislative update drew a comparison between Governor Lee’s proposed Education Freedom Scholarship Act and a controversial Indiana voucher program.

Accepting the Community Partners Spotlight award on behalf of the Decherd Nissan powertrain plant, Jimmy Stovall pointed to the “symbiotic relationship with the education system” evidenced by the Nissan Centers of Excellence program. “Franklin County and three other area schools are serving as a pilot,” Stovall said. “The program puts a Nissan employee in the schools to help develop and deliver curriculum.” Nissan also donated two Pathfinders to be used for CTE instruction in the Automotive Class at Franklin County High School. “We appreciate Nissan that’s for sure,” said Board Chair Cleijo Walker.

Hammer requested permission to address the board during the five-minute comment period. She stressed the importance of art and music education. Citing the goals of the Arts Ed Matters, Hammer said, “It’s our mission to provide support to music and arts teachers and principals ... We’ll actively recruit for open art and music positions and advocate for every school to have a certified music and art teacher.”

Since the May 28 workshop on art and music instruction in the Franklin County Schools, the district has hired a dually certified Fine Arts teacher to teach both music and art at Broadview Elementary. Human Resources Supervisor Roger Alsup acknowledged the certified art teacher hired for the Fine Arts position at Sewanee Elementary would be expected to teach both music and art. The Fine Arts positions at North Lake Elementary and Cowan Elementary remain open. Walker curtailed discussion on the unpopular decision to have a single Fine Arts instructor to teach both music and art at four elementary schools. “In all fairness, this is not on the agenda … We can put it back on the agenda at some other time.”

In the discussion about school fees, Alsup confirmed all teachers received $200 for supplies. “That does not seem like enough for PE supplies and things like art and music,” said Marhevsky. For classes such as art and band where students must pay a fee, the fee amount goes to the teacher for supplies, Alsup said. Students who cannot afford the fee receive “a waiver.” In cases where the fee is waived, the teacher receives no additional funding for the students who do not pay a fee. Marhevsky suggested the board revisit the school fees and teacher funding topic.

Taking up Huntland School’s need for a soccer field, Principal Lisa Crabtree said the school could not host tournaments because the school’s field was not regulation size. The Huntland City Council has agreed to let the school use a field behind Citizen’s Bank for a soccer field free of charge. The property would accommodate a regulation size field. The city only used the property occasionally for music events and parking, according to Crabtree. Deputy Director of Finances Jenny Phillips said the school district would have no legal liability in conjunction with student athletes the using the property for a soccer field because the city owned the property. Crabtree will pursue arranging for an MOU with the city so the project can move forward.

Although the Tennessee Legislature tabled the voucher-style Freedom Scholarship Act proposal until the next legislative session, Marhevsky called the board’s attention to an illustrative article in the publication Chalkbeat about a similar program in Indiana. Students can use state funding in the form of vouchers to attend private schools rather than public school. “Last year, the program cost the state $311 million” Marhevsky said. “This year, it cost roughly $439 million.” Not only was the program costly, but most students who took advantage of the program had never attended public school, indicating the voucher funding was assisting parents who could already afford to send their children to private school.

2024 July
2024 June
2024 May
2024 April
2024 March
2024 February
2024 January
2023 December
2023 November
2023 October
2023 September
2023 August
2023 July
2023 June
2023 May
2023 April
2023 March
2023 February
2023 January
2022 December
2022 November
2022 October
2022 September
2022 August
2022 July
2022 June
2022 May
2022 April
2022 March
2022 February
2022 January
2021 December
2021 November
2021 October
2021 September
2021 August
2021 July
2021 June
2021 May
2021 April
2021 March
2021 February
2021 January
2020 December
2020 November
2020 October
2020 September
2020 August
2020 July
2020 June
2020 May
2020 April
2020 March
2020 February
2020 January
2019 December
2019 November
2019 October
2019 September
2019 August
2019 July
2019 June
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 September
2018 August
2018 July
2018 June
2018 May
2018 April
2018 March
2018 February
2018 January
2017 December
2017 November
2017 October
2017 September
2017 August
2017 July
2017 June
2017 May
2017 April
2017 March
2017 February
2017 January
2016 December
2016 November
2016 October
2016 September
2016 August
2016 July
2016 June
2016 May
2016 April
2016 March
2016 February
2016 January
2015 December
2015 November
2015 October
2015 September
2015 August
2015 July
2015 June
2015 May
2015 April
2015 March
2015 February
2015 January
2014 December
2014 November
2014 October
2014 September
2014 August
2014 July
2014 June
2014 May
2014 April
2014 March
2014 February
2014 January
2013 December
2013 November
2013 October
2013 September
2013 August
2013 July
2013 June
2013 May
2013 April
2013 March
2013 February
2013 January
2012 December
2012 November
2012 October
2012 September
2012 August
2012 July
2012 June
2012 May
2012 April
2012 March
2012 February
2012 January
2011 December
2011 November
2011 October
2011 September
2011 August
2011 July
2011 June
2011 May
2011 April
2011 March
2011 February
2011 January
2010 December
2010 November
2010 October
2010 September
2010 August
2010 July
2010 June
2010 May