Knox County's budget battle may be over, but education remains a hot topic among county leaders. Commissioners addressed two items surrounding the school district's recent funding request Monday.
The district sought an extra $35 million annually, commission approved $7 million.
Part of that compromise included surveying teachers to get their views on what is working in the classrooms and what can be improved.
Leaders insist those surveys must be anonymous to maximize impact, but at a meeting Monday the Law Director Joe Jarrett said doing so may not be legal. Commission Chair Mike Hammond proposed delaying action on the measure for 30 days. Commissioners and representatives from the school system supported the move.
"There's really no need in our moving forward if we can't tell the teachers that the responses you give us will remain anonymous," Hammond said.
"I think one of the things that we would be most interested in, that we really have to decide, is what are we doing the survey for, what do we hope to find out from the survey, and what will we do with the results," said Lynne Fugate (4th District).
During the budget debate, the school system found strong support for their full $35 million request from the Chamber of Commerce.
Since the Chamber receives both public and private funds, commissioner Tony Norman (3rd district) who opposed the plan, wants an explanation of how their support efforts were funded.
"Supposedly these were private funds, so how much was used, how they were used, what were they used for in this campaign?" Norman asked.
A representative from the Chamber said they have already had talks internally about putting that information together.
Norman plans to talk to Jarrett to see exactly what they are able to request.
Commissioners also postponed discussion about removing the traditional prayer before their meetings. They now plan to take that up at their next work session.