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School system asks state to prevent county from controlling its finances
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Warren County School System wants the state to allow it to opt out of a 30-year-old law which allows county governments to control the purse strings when it comes to educational finances.A resolution approved by the Warren County Board of Education at its meeting last week has been sent to the Tennessee General Assembly in the wake of the Warren County Commission voting earlier this year to take over financial management of the school system.“The district must be allowed to use its cumulative expertise in making the decisions over what is the best, most beneficial use of its funds in the operation of its schools,” the resolution reads, noting the present administration under the leadership of Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale has over 100 years of combined experience in school finances.“The County Financial Management Act of 1981 will seriously impede the district’s ability to use its expertise in order to allocate its scarce financial resources in the way it feels will best fulfill its legal, educational and ethical obligation to provide the best possible education for the children of Warren County,” the resolution continues, noting the county’s financial management system is not set up to understand the workings of the educational financial system. “Because of the intricate nature of school finance, there will continue to exist a need for school district management of budget and spending which cannot be adequately replicated by the county finance department, which lacks expertise in the area of school finance.”The approved resolution was sent on to the General Assembly. The School Board hopes legislators in their next session will consider allowing schools to opt out of the present financial system.