By Max Hrenda
In light of glowing reviews for surrounding school systems, a Carter County commissioner has suggested a major upheaval for the county school system.
During the commissioner comments portion of Monday’s meeting of the Carter County Commission, Commissioner Ronnie Trivett said that, because the county system’s scores substantially trail other local systems, the commission may need to take drastic action to improve the district.
“The Kingsport City Schools system … is fourth in the state; the city school system of Elizabethton is 10th,” Trivett said. “Our county school (system) … was 100 out of 110. What concerns me is that we keep throwing money at this school system, and something is wrong with it.
“I don’t know which direction to go, and, just for the heck, I’m going to make a motion that we have the county attorney draw up a resolution that we elect a superintendent by popular vote at this time.”
Other commissioners took issue, however, with Trivett’s assessment.
“We’re not throwing money at anything; we fund our school system,” said Commissioner Richard Winters. “Being derogatory, taking the attitude that we’re ‘throwing money’ at the school system, implying that it’s not well-utilized, and that it is somehow not like other systems in that we have to throw our money away when we put it into the education of our children … I take violent exception to that.”