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Parents concerned over future of Oliver Springs H.S. | News

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Parents concerned over future of Oliver Springs H.S.
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ID=17077061(WBIR-Oliver Springs) While the Roane County director of schools calls them "rumors," concerns over Oliver Springs High School's future still worry many parents.

"We are in a budget crisis in the county," said parent Jennifer Edmundson who heard the possibility that the school of approximately 400 students may close. "They didn't want to do property tax that would've helped education."

It started after word of budgets being cut for the 2015-2016 school year for Roane County Schools, the school system Oliver Springs falls under, even though the town is also split into Anderson and Morgan counties. OSHS is one of five high schools in that district.

However, director of schools Gary Aytes said right now these plans are all word of mouth.

"The school board has not started budget talks, and it won't until November," Aytes said. "Right now, there are no plans for this school to close."

Parents, despite the director of schools statement, said just the notion of the news has many talking.

"It wouldn't make sense, the sheer amount of bus increases to other schools-- you can take the money and fund the other
schools," said parent J.P. Young.

"It's going to be rough, said alum Alvin Forsythe. "It would be really bad that if you close the school that has such great heritage and care about the community."

"There's a lot of word of mouth -- not just here, but from Harriman, Rockwood, Kingston, because this affects all of us," added parent Edmundson.

Several parents will attend Monday night's Roane County Commission meeting, even though commissioners said they will not discuss budgets or the school's future. Parents said they still will attend.

Some parents received a letter from coaches Thursday. It read:

"I know that next week is fall break and a time to relax, but OSHS needs your help. Monday Oct. 13 is the monthly county commission meeting at the Roane County Courthouse at 6:00. We would like to have as many students, players, parents, and coaches there to show the commissioners that we do care for our school.

There are a lot of rumors and speculations going around the county about the uncertainty of next year's budget. The only thing that is known for a fact right now is that our school system will be short by approximately 3 million dollars. If the commission does not pass a budget increase for us, the school board will have to make some major cuts to operate the system.

All options are on the table for now. Of which the possibility of closing one of the 5 high schools in the county. The prospect of not having an OSHS next year is frightening. We are asking as many people as possible to show up at the commission meeting wearing purple and gold as a show of unity for this great community and school. The commission will not be discussing next year's budget and the audience will probably no be given a chance to speak, buy by showing up in force will demonstrate to the commission that we are passionate about keeping our school open.

Please if possible show up at the courthouse and let's show our PURPLE AND GOLD pride!!!!!!!!"


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