board adopts interlocal agreements, bridge loan, retirement options
The Bartlett school board approved four key resolutions on district funding, shared services billing and employee retirement options at Monday’s special-called meeting. The board’s work continues to pave the way for school doors to open on Aug. 4.
$10M bridge loan
The school board also approved a $10 million bridge loan from the city of Bartlett with repayment due by June 30, 2015. It will cover the district’s operating costs until funding starts flowing in later in the school year.
The Basic Education Program (BEP) will distribute state funds to the district, starting in August, accounting for about half the district’s revenue, said school superintendent David Stephens. The other half comes from property taxes that will start arriving in December and primarily in February.
The district is likely to need this annual loan until it builds up reserves, probably after two to three years, Stephens said. Bridge loans are common among the other new local school districts, some of which project a need for up to five years of bridge loans.
The bridge loan will cost Bartlett City Schools $125,000 in interest annually.
The city board’s June 10 meeting was scheduled to include public hearings on the 2014-2015 school district’s budget, as well as public hearings on the Bartlett municipal budget for FY2015 (including the bridge loan) and other topics. [Editor’s note: This meeting had not occurred at press time. See bartlett-express.com for updates.]
2 interlocal agreements
The school board’s approval of two interlocal agreements listed below will allow the Bartlett City Schools (BCS) district to begin recouping some of the costs already incurred.
Interlocal agreements between Shelby County’s six new municipal school districts allow them to share services. One district will house a particular service and bill the others for their share.
Two of the services housed with the Bartlett City Schools district are:
- Business Information Management Services and Advanced Programs for Educational Computer Systems (APECS)
The board also rescinded two previous votes on employee options with the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) and then approved two new resolutions for “classified” employees of the school and district.
Classified employees, also known as “non-certificated,” are those whose roles do not require them to earn formal certificates of qualification in instruction.
New non-certificated hires as of Aug. 1 or later will be enrolled in the TCRS hybrid plan as of January 1, 2015. Between Aug. 1 and Jan. 1 they will accrue benefits.
The hybrid plan has cost savings for the school district. See an overview on the TCRS website.
The certificated employees for Bartlett City Schools who are already enrolled in the TCRS defined benefits plan from their previous employment or who are hired into Bartlett schools before August 1 will remain on the TCRS defined benefits plan.
Although it was not explicit in the resolutions, the board also discussed how the county board of education would take on the responsibility of TCRS payments if the school district ever goes out of business.
Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.