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A RESOLUTION OF THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SUPPORTING KNOX COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION BUDGET PROPOSAL

 

      WHEREAS, in order to become America’s Business Address, the Knoxville region needs to have the most-skilled and educated workforce to meet existing and future industry workforce needs; and

      WHEREAS, higher levels of education are fundamentally linked with increased earnings, increased spending, job growth, increased tax revenue, and increased social welfare; and

      WHEREAS, the Knoxville Chamber entered into a critical friendship with the Knox County Schools (KCS) five years ago and immediately identified budget development and cost analysis as a priority in order for the KCS to significantly improve its student outcomes; and

     WHEREAS, the Knoxville Chamber partnered with the KCS to develop a data warehouse tool called the Education Management Information System ("EMIS"), which allows for the analysis of multiple types of relevant school and student information, including pairing student perfromance with the costs of instruction or programs in determining the return on tax dollar investment; and

      WHEREAS, the Knox County Schools Board of Education and Knox County Commission together committed to a goal for the Knox County Schools to be the best school district in the Southeast United Sates; and

      WHEREAS, the Tennessee Supreme Court has determined that the State Constitution requires that the state provide, at a minimum, an adequate education described as “the opportunity to acquire knowledge, develop the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally prepare students intellectually for a mature life;* and

      WHEREAS, the Basic Education Program (or BEP), established in the Tennessee Education Finance Act of 1977, defines the formula used by the State of Tennessee to allocate state funds for K-12 education to school districts: and

       WHEREAS, the current provisions of BEP funding are insufficient to provide an adequate education for all students in Knox County and are insufficient to reach the ambitious goals outlined in the KCS Strategic Plan; and

      WHEREAS, the current funding appropriated from Knox County is also insufficient to fund an education that will produce a skilled and educated workforce; and

      WHEREAS, only 38 percent of KCS incoming freshmen graduate in four yeas with both a high school diploma and a score of 21 or better on the ACT: and

      WHEREAS, only 47 percent of KCS third-grade students scored “proficient” or “advanced” in Reading/English Language Arts on the TCAP in the 2010-2011 academic year; and

      WHEREAS, a mere 19 percent of the KCS class of 2011 met all four ACT college readiness benchmarks, which are proven indicators of a student’s likelihood of success in post-secondary training and the workforce; and

      WHEREAS, by analyzing data extract from EMIS to understand where resources are currently allocated in the KCS, the KCS staff developed a Return on Investment (ROI) Report, with Knoxville Chamber input, that demonstrates the present return on investment for several major district initiatives, including school program, block scheduling and Project Grad; and

      WHEREAS, the ROI Report recognizes the incremental progress KCS has made in achieving the Performance Targets outlined in the Strategic Plan but acknowledges that this progress is insufficient and that multiple strategies and intense effort are necessary to produce the desired outcomes, which require a significant additional investment in the Knox County Schools; and

      WHEREAS, the Knox County Schools Board of Education approved a budget of $432.71 million to fund a bold plan to increase student performance and meet the Performance Target in he Strategic Plan, which includes a $35 million structural increase to be appropriated in FY 2013 and fully integrated into the general operating budget in FY 2017; and

      WHEREAS, should such a budget increase materialized it shall be accompanied by the highest degree of accountability possible, which means appropriate action should be taken if adequate results are not shown in five years; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the Knoxville Chamber supports the request of the Knox County Schools Board of Education for a budget request of $432.71 million, including a structural increase of $35 million; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution shall be forwarded to the Knox County Schools Board of Education, the Knox County Commission, the Mayor of Knox County, the Knoxville City Council, and the City of Knoxville Mayor.

 ADOPTED at a duly called meeting of the Board of Directors of the Knoxville Chamber at which a quorum was present and voting, on the 26th day of April, 2012.

 

 

 

 

Christi Branscom

Secretary, Board of Directors



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