KNOXVILLE — Knox County Schools will receive an additional $2 million from the state than was initially estimated in next year's budget.
New numbers released by the State Department of Education show Knox County will receive $219 million in funding next year. That’s up from the school district's initial estimates of $217 million.
The extra money could be used to save programs in danger of losing funding.
"The budget hole that Knox County Schools had was about $2.6-2.8 million," said Rep. Eddie Smith, R-Knoxville. "So almost $2 million of additional money means that the budget hole is now only about $600,000-800,000."
The Tennessee Department of Education provided an updated estimate for state funding which showed an additional $2 million for Knox County Schools.
It’s now up to the Board of Education to decide how to allocate the money.
"This is not new money that the state is giving us, it’s just an accurate number we now have," said Patti Bounds, chair of the Knox County Board of Education. "Hopefully each side can give and take a little bit and we can come to an agreement that will be satisfactory for everyone."
For supporters of programs like magnet schools and Project GRAD, this news gives them hope the program will not lose funding.
"Project GRAD gives students an opportunity that they might not otherwise have or even think about of going on to college," said Ella Ruggles, an instructor at Project GRAD for 18 years. "It would be a tremendous loss for Knox County."
As of late Thursday afternoon, members of the Knox County Board of Education said they have not yet received a new budget outline from Superintendent Bob Thomas. They expect to have a better idea of where the money will go by the time they meet next week.
Thomas is expected to release his revised budget recommendation on Friday.
The board is holding a special called meeting to vote on the budget proposal on Monday, April 30. Their deadline to send the budget to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett is Tuesday, May 1.