JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Director of Schools Jennifer Fields reported at the Tuesday night school board meeting that all Campbell County school employees are now on the same insurance plan, avoiding possible funding penalties from the state.

The issue surfaced back in September, when state officials notified Fields and Finance Director Jeff Marlow that Campbell county was in violation of state requirements that all school employees, both teachers and non-teaching (classified) employees must be on the same insurance plan, whether the state plan or a local plan.

Campbell County classified employees were switched over to the local plan years ago in order for non-teachers to qualify for retiree insurance. In 2015, the state changed its policies, allowing all school employees to qualify for retiree insurance and requiring everyone to be on the same plan, but Campbell County did not comply with the change until notified this year that they were in jeopardy of losing state funding if not in compliance by January 1.

That disaster has been averted, Fields reported, as all classified employees have now been switched over. School Board member Jeff Miller is still not satisfied, however, pointing out during the comment period that he has still not seen an explanation for how the Finance Department failed to catch the change for years, possibly costing the county as much as $250,000. Miller has pushed for an internal audit by the Comptroller but no word has been received about any plans for that to be carried out.

The board met for a brief time Tuesday night, approving some changes to the board policy on testing, including a path to credits for students transferring from a church school, private school or home school who take a written exam.

The board also approved budget amendments that will move forward two ESSER-funded capital projects, expansion of the gym and cafeteria expansion at Jacksboro Elementary School and bleachers for the Jellico High School gym. The combined cost of the two projects will be $1,723,436. The board tabled a decision on setting the 2023-24 school year calendar until February as some board members had questions and wanted time to study the proposed calendar. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/14/2022-6AM)