The Lenoir City Board of Education faces some tough decisions for next year's budget.
Superintendent Wayne Miller outlined at a Thursday workshop what it will cost to hire Tammy Jones and the TLJ Consulting Group, which will work with teachers to become skilled in Common Core math standards.
"This has been an extremely challenging budget preparation cycle," Miller said before he introduced 2012-2013 budget requests. "The Common Core implementation is going to be the biggest thing that has hit in the 30 years I have been doing this. When I review the testing strategies and questions, it gives me the willies. It just absolutely does."
The board is looking to add $388,247 in personnel costs, including hiring a Lenoir City Intermediate/Middle School math intervention specialist and two Common Core administrative positions - at a $187,672 cost - to transition to the new math curriculum. Two required English language learner positions also add $112,679.
"This company (TLJ Consulting), they have gotten some significant growth and performance in the school systems they have been in," Miller said. "We are going to build into the budget, with the board's permission, the ability to bring her onboard weekly next year to build capacity and our teachers ahead of time from when they have to actually implement Common Core."
That budget inclusion would be in addition to the staff positions. The consulting group will cost a flat $132,000 - $2,000 a day for 50 on-site training days.
"That is all proposed. ... There are many what ifs still," Miller said.
In other business, the board:
● Discussed requiring student scores for eighth-grade, end-of-course Algebra I comprise 25 percent of the student's final math grade in the spring semester. Miller said the addition is in compliance with legislation that puts accountability on students in regards to performance. The item will be added to the next regular board meeting.
● Discussed a Lenoir City Elementary School summer intervention program for third-graders performing below the basic category in reading and language arts.
"Since our last budget preparation - and it is a requirement - because of that, there is a chance there will be some small monetary costs for additional staff for a few weeks in the summer," Miller said, "that I suspect we will be bringing to you at the next board meeting for approval."
● Discussed Lenoir City High School fees that will increase in the 2012-2013 school year for classes in nutrition and food, biology, anatomy and physiology and band camp.
"All of those are in reflection of an increased cost around consumables that are used in these programs," Miller said.
● Discussed converting a current classroom to a virtual classroom where LCHS can offer online courses, opening opportunity for students to take "unique" courses throughout the school day, according to Miller.
"I think it will be a real feather in our cap and, beyond that, a real opportunity for our kids to be exposed to some curricula that they normally wouldn't be exposed to," Miller said. "I'm not sure that we are going to be able to fund that - quite honestly, there are some pretty big figures ahead of that and there is still a lot of discussion around revenue, but this is our first draft."