Back in 2003 Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale orchestrated an agreement between the Knox County Commission and Knox County School Board that would end a lawsuit that had plagued both bodies and had wasted a lot of tax payer dollars. The agreement was that the Commission would move all items approved by the School Board to an “Education Consent Agenda”. Meaning that if the School Board had voted on it (with the exception of the annual budget) Commission would vote it and move on. Things have changed since then. Primarily, a new Superintendent is in town that visited every Knox County school with the first 8 months on the job. A Superintendent that conducts regular community meetings to get the public’s opinion.
A few years ago Knox County citizens were asked to reduce the size of Commission from 19 members to 11. The voting citizens did just that. With 11 members it was decided by Commission to streamline the work and reduce the number of committees.
In September 2012, the Commission selected 2 Commissioners left over from the Black Wednesday fiasco of January 2007 to be it’s Chair and Vice Chair. Now, they want to reengage an education committee. However, with the new one, they are going to dress it up a little different. This time they want to “invite” school board members to participate in a working group sub committee. The Commission Chairman says he wants the Superintendent to come in and teach “11 fairly congenial students willing to learn…”.
Mr. Superintendent be very careful and don’t turn your back in any form or fashion. To many observers this is just an attempt by the Commission Chairman who was an integral part of the 2007 Black Wednesday Fiasco with the added history of being a retired teacher that has vocalized his negative views toward the Knox County Schools Central Office.
To add to the the more things the more they stay the same. Commissioner Dave Wright from the rural Northeast Knox County area wants to expand the Commission back to 14 or more Commissioners. Read Mike Donila’s report here. You know Mike. The Knox County guy over at the Big Metal Shed on the Hill.
Stay tuned, this roller coaster ride never seems to end.