Follow-up on the Knox Schools Money Grab on Middle School Club Sports and any Use of Taxpayer Facilities

Back on January 30, 2023 I posted this story, it included a utility comparison to Christenberry Elementary to justify the increased prices, immediately after posting it, Superintendent Jon Rysewyck and his Assistant Superintendent Garfield Adams reached out to one of my sources. Adams said that the Facility Use Price Chart was not supposed to be posted. Since then a newer chart has been posted.

Now, finally mid week last week Adams met with 9 area middle school football coaches (according to the sign in sheet) representing the presumably the 16 Knox County Middle Schools (West Valley, Cedar Bluff, Farragut, Bearden, Hardin Valley, South Doyle, Karns, Whittle Springs, Holston, Northwest, Gresham, Halls, Vine, Powell, Carter and Gibbs) According to information shared with me from that meeting, comments were Knox County Schools are only charging for some grass fields and they (Knox Schools) have no idea when the lights come on, so we can only assume they are off, so we won’t charge you.

A problematic issue, I can not find where the School Board approved the facility use charges. KCS has a Board Policy and two Administrative Procedures that govern Community Use of School Facilities.

Board Policy E-130 Community Use of School Facilities here

KCS Administrative Procedures E-130-1 Community Use of School Facilities here

KCS Administrative Procedures E-130-22 Scheduled Use of School Facilities here

No where in the Board approved Policy or in the administrative procedures is the established rate sheet. Who authorized the new rates? The Superintendent? The Assistant Superintendent? The Facility Use Coordinator? Who is the checks and balances to the current rates charged and paid?

Assumably every group is under this rate sheet, club athletic organizations like the MAC, CBFO Basketball, community churches, scouting organizations etc. Some communities and some organizations have more resources (in kind equipment or dollars) than others. How will the Facility Use Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent treat groups and organizations with/without favoritism or punishment?

So, the taxpayers pay for the property, facilities and the continued operation and care of the facilities and grounds but NOW the same taxpayers must pay rent to use the facilities that they have paid for?

Hopefully, folks haven’t forgotten that I served on the School Board some twenty years ago, once as Vice Chairman of the Board. The Superintendent at the time I served said to me that he told his staff, if Brian Hornback asks you a question, answer him truthfully because he already knows the answer.

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