Clay County Director of Schools Jerry Strong announced Thursday that all campuses will remain open, despite the school board voting to close all schools in the lower income Tennessee district.
The issue has centered around whether the schools that are struggling with finances close or continue the school year in hopes the school board will find a way to resolve the issue later.
The school administration contends that the budgetary struggles were created by unaffordable government mandates. The Affordable Care Act was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Strong told the Associated Press.
When implemented, the Affordable Care Act required the school district to offer an affordable insurance plan to all employees—including non-certified personnel that previously didn’t receive insurance.
According to the Herald-Citizen, the school board had asked the county commission to approve a wheel tax and property tax increase in order to foot the bill for the extra funds, both of which were rejected. Another wheel tax increase has been proposed, however, a vote is not expected to take place until March.