The Daily Times reports (link...) that 6 schools are now on the list of those that are "Intolerably Overcrowded." They began making this annual report several years back after a conversation with the Planning Commission about how planning for residential development should be coordinated with available infrastructure. At the time, the Planning Commission was willing to limit residential development in those school districts to minor subdivisions (those having under 5 houses per subdivision).

Of course, that went by the wayside shortly after last year's report came out and the Planning Commission disagreed with the school board's direction in solving the overcrowding problems. (link...)

How do YOU think the Planning Commission should use the information from the schools? Should they just ignore it? Should they reinstitute the 4-lot limit in those districts until the school building program can catch up? If not that, then what should planning around school availability look like?

First, how did the Public

First, how did the Public Hearing turn out?

"Lamb said he would set the meeting for 5 p.m. Dec. 12,...."

The Planning Commission definitely should not just ignore the information on overcrowded schools. Infrastructure (schools, roads, fire and police depts.) needs to be given a top priority whenever a developer comes in with a proposal. Included in that infrastructure I guess the Planning Commission had better factor in water consumption too before our H2O usage puts the County in a real bind.

Funny how the developers are always hyping to the Commission the idea that the new development "will pay for itself". Then we find that:

"With 27-percent population growth in the last 15 years, the tax base hasn't kept up dollar-wise with the infrastructure demands," he added

Is there even a PLAN for County development? If there is, do the Commissioners follow the PLAN?

not a hearing

Not a hearing. It was to read to the Planning Commission the same text that is found on the county's website and allow the commissioners to ask what they were reading.

Moratorium

I have always said that a simple way to control growth is to gauge it by the school districts. If a district can't seat all their students in a regular classroom (not in a mobile home out back), there should be a building moratorium in that district untill they can. Then you would have developers falling all over themselves in proposing school construction in the mega plans that are submitted. The use of so called impact fees forces the eventual users of the services to pay for them. Big money always seems to win out in this debate but it seems pretty simple to me. Developers are good at passing on the costs of the needed infrastructure to the existing taxpayers - often we are asked to subsidize something that is destroying the very peaceful neighborhoods that we live in. Its money and greed. One simple rule change could shift that balance back to the community. More and more people see this but the planning commission and the powers that be have the wagons circled pretty tight.

This all strikes at the

This all strikes at the heart of just what power the Planning Commission really has. That lifting of limits on building in these overcrowded districts was done solely by the Planning Commission. This never needed approval from the full Commission. You know, the people we elected. It was done by the select appointees.

Don't forget!

Don't forget who appoints the Planning Commission! The County Mayor. There's your power. Pick folks who will keep your campaign promises and run with it.

Porter

I found it interesting that one of the criteria for being intolerable was something about the square feet of gyms, cafeterias, etc. Porter has large "extra" facilities but the classroomos are packed (and getting more crowded). So good for the school board to see this issue and put Porter on the intolerable list.

And yes, it was a shame that Cunningham got the four lot per year for subdivisions lifted. This "regulaton" needs to be reinstituted to help control growth (particularly in the Porter area). Anyone know how to get this issue back to the forefront again? Calling our commissioners?

Getting it back to the forefront

I think calling your commissioners and asking them to consider reinstituting the 4-lot limit would be a great start. Maybe the Planning Commissioners, as well. I think they recommend things and that the Commission more or less makes them "law."

I've always wondered whether the Parent Teacher Organizations realize they are in a unique position on this issue. Usually the other "stakeholders" show up at meetings (the developers), but you don't see a lot of parents.

heck call the school board

Pretty good idea to do. When Mr Alvin Hore came in as superintendant, the school buildings projects halted. They are many years behind from the previous school plans for new schools. When every school that has been built was made to be added onto. But instead we want everyone to think that they are "over-crowded". The whole "packaged" deal to determine over crowded or not.This is almost like comparing Hunter Interest study's on Washington and San Antonio to Maryville and Blount County. The new schools they are being designed is just like the McMansions that some of you complain about. Why build schools outwards and stretch the schools to make it wider and appear bigger? Why not build the schools with 2 floors. Gee, the height of the school would still be as tall as the gymnasium. Be also less to heat and a/c. There alot of PLUSES to build 2 stories then stretch a building and keep ripping off the tax payers. It's also great to know that we can build a new school and take away 8 classrooms so we can say it is intolerable, besides what Mr Hord said that they got alot of bad press from having empty classrooms in a school. Well Duh, When you have 2 schools half empty and want to use some of those rooms to teach Adults that either dropped out of school or/are immigrants learning to speak english. Blogger Farmer John, said

This "regulaton" needs to be reinstituted to help control growth (particularly in the Porter area)

Well sorry FJ, that area could be eleviated by redistricting. Mr Hord said that it would cost the county over hundred thousand to redistrict. Well little insight on that line. Everytime you build a school you have to redistrict, so that comment is a political one and not tell the truth. But then again it shows that alot of untruths are being told in here and get people to "run" with it.

redistricting?

Well JAC, I live in the Porter area and there are subdivisions sprouting up everywhere. The exisiting subdivisions have plenty of lots left to develop (thanks to the old regulation). With the four lot per year regulation the growth was coming slower. Now that the door is wide open the subdivisions can now fill up quicker, hence more kids going to an "intolerable" school. Hord can redistrict all he wants but more homes being built equals more kids in the school. And if the PPE is completed the growth will increase tremendously.

Blount County needs to maintain it's growth for many reasons, not just schools. But schools are one of the factors that can be measured.

And didn't I see in the Daily Times where the new schools would not alleviate the overcrowding issue at Porter?

Like slowing down to look at a car accident...

...I've just got to ask.

Just a Citizen, you said:

But instead we want everyone to think that they are "over-crowded".

WHY would anyone want everyone to think the schools are overcrowded if they aren't? Especially Alvin Horde. He never really struck me as a tree-hugger, for example, if that's what you're trying to say.

And what is Horde's political affiliation that would have him spewing "untruths" like so:

Mr Hord said that it would cost the county over hundred thousand to redistrict. Well little insight on that line. Everytime you build a school you have to redistrict, so that comment is a political one and not tell the truth.

Haven't seen him at any of the Democrat First Friday Luncheons.

I don't think it was the current school board who decided to plop a nice new school out there on Sam Houston Schoolhouse road (which is the only one I've heard the paper mention had extra classrooms). Didn't that happen in the days of Director Pack? But I can imagine it might be somewhat inconvenient to bus students there from way out at Carpenters or Happy Valley or wherever you'd have to bring enough of 'em from to fully utilize it. And isn't there some state law dictating how long you can force a kid to sit on a bus each day? But maybe there's a way to pull it off. I'm sure Horde would be tickled pink if you wanted to volunteer to go through the bus plan and figure out a way to solve this problem. I mean, maybe they just haven't thrown enough manpower at it.

One last question: when did Horde come in here to Blount Views and tell his untruths? (Why is Blount Views being credited with it?)

But then again it shows that alot of untruths are being told in here and get people to "run" with it.

No this is not a democrat vs

No this is not a democrat vs republican debated posting. There should not be a "side" when voting for all of blount. But as for your comment on when did hore ever come in blountviews and tell untruths....well If you read it, it did not say that he came in here and told untruths. But you do a good job for him.
Since you mention Mr. Pack, wasn't there a school building program inplace when he was here and then when he left the school board did not follow it. So they are years behind and trying to play catchup on account for the citizens.
Build Up and NOT out. greenspace???????? McSchools!!!! Another fantastic idea lets use the half empty schools for our dropouts and our non english speaking residents. sure put them in with our elementary school aged kids. can't wait for lil johnny to come home and say " can I bring home a new friend I met at school?"
thought that was what everette was for???????? ridiculous.
As for the schools being built as your knowledge is Sam Houston school, well the ones being built now in Friendsville. They took away 8 classrooms to save money, well it was stated that they took a beating before for having empty classrooms and therefore do not want to have a school with empty classrooms. So we can have a school being built brandnew with room to grow but we can save money now and when we need the classrooms in a few years then we can "add" them back then. It will only cost 3xs as much then instead of doing it now. Commonsense or lack of???

Help with other waste

just a citizen,

You seemed very concerned about wasteful spending. Do you have a thought on the way the BCSO is handling cars as discussed in this thread (link...). I look forward to your insight.

JAC: If you're going to call people liars...

Then maybe you'd like to list all the things you've seen me lying about here on Blount Views?

Or is every opinion you disagree with considered a lie in your book?

Redirection

Local,

In my experience, every time anyone questions the BCSO, they try to turn it around and make an issue about how much money the school system is spending. They generally do it in a way that proves we are spending way to little on the school systems, especially grammar.

What is your experience?

Fairview Angel, Honestly I

Fairview Angel, Honestly I cannot disagree with alot of your postings. As for the sheriffs cars, well I can say that having un marked cars not being published so a few can have thier pats on thier backs for trying to bring some light on the spending. I will also agree that a select few that go in time and time again to every meeting and complain and speak for all the tax payers in the county. But this thread was about schools and therefore commented on what I read and hear. But there are 2 sides to every story and when one side isn't completely true. And Just bringing the facts out like what R.Neal says this blog is "intended" to be for.

First things first

Our education system wouldn't be in the shape it's in if we were not wasting so much on law enforcement. (link...)

Fix the BCSO first and then we can decide where the extra money for schools should go.

Noone wants to take on the

Noone wants to take on the schools?? It is funny how that they were so in need of extra money that they suddenly found the same exact money that they needed for textbooks. I am sorry but they have not bought textbooks for 4 years previous. But they did give teachers a raise 4 years ago with a step program which means they get a raise every year. But no textbooks since that money went towards the salary increases. Adding on to the schools be a helluva alot cheaper then building and maintaining new schools. So will you disagree with me there?

well I see that someone has

well I see that someone has some sense on the schools non-overcrowding. The buses go by the schools and they also drop kids off at a school so they can get on another bus that is going to thier school. So the bus issue isnt the big picture that is being a big deal. Even though the bus company is charging for the whole trip and not the dropoffs and pickups. They even pick up kids early and there are a few buses that go by the same bus routes. The issues with the BCSO isnt even within the schools budget. The schools get more cents then anyother organization from our tax dollars. And do not forget about the tax split dollars that the cities get. So I will agree with Just A Citizen on her assessment.

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