It's the million dollar question in Sumner County: When will school start?
A budget fight has delayed the start of classes indefinitely, even after hundreds of concerned community members showed up to watch county commissioners vote Monday to reallocate more money to the district.
While nobody knows when classes will finally get under way, a lot of it depends on a set of simple, but significant, hurdles.
"I think it's just frustrating," said grandfather Jim Comstock. "I personally think that schools should be the highest priority."
Under the extra public pressure, the Sumner County Commission agreed to give the district an extra $2.2 million. School board members wanted $5 million more, but the district's director said he'll take what he can get in order to open schools soon.
"Well, I don't think it'll be a couple weeks. I think the board will move. We need to make sure that people know we want to be in school. We want students in school," said Sumner County Schools Director Del Phillips.
The district must wait for board members to make the next move. First, they need to pick a meeting time, give proper public notice and then set a date for schools to start.
It can't happen soon enough in the minds of a growing number of parents and grandparents like Comstock.
"I hope they're going to change. I hope they pass a budget, and I hope schools get their money so they can go ahead and have a normal year," Comstock said.
School leaders said that is their goal, and they have set a meeting for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the school board to discuss possible action to start the school year.
"We're going to try to get back in school as quickly as possible, but we hope the dialogue continues to stay positive and open between the two bodies and we'll try to work it out," Phillips said.
Also interesting to note, after so many people showed up to the commission meeting Monday, the fire marshal was at the county building Tuesday to revise its occupancy standards.
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