JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The School board is considering help for bus owners amid hefty fuel cost increases.

The Campbell County Board of Education is prepared to take action to offer some relief for school bus owners who are feeling the pinch of soaring gasoline costs. The board considered a budget amendment Tuesday night to give a one-time fuel bonus of $1,000 for each of the county’s 33 buses for a cost of $33,000 taken from the school department’s undesignated fund balance.

Bus owner David Seals addressed the board to urge the additional payment, pointing out that his bus currently costs $57.35 a day to operate with gas prices continuing to soar and no end in sight. The board appeared to be more or less unanimous in supporting relief, with Chairman Johnny Byrge telling Seals, “We are all trying to do our very best” to help bus owner/operators, but postponed a final vote on the $1,000 amendment until next week.

Faye Heatherly urged the board to run the bonus “through proper channels” and moved to postpone action on the amendment until the commission budget and finance committee (CORRECTION: Board of Education Budget and Finance Committee) can vote on it next Tuesday. Heatherly’s motion passed 8-2 with only Crystal Creekmore and Steve Morgan voting no on the motion to postpone (CORRECTION: Creekmore and Jeffrey Miller voted no while Morgan voted yes). Byrge called another board meeting for next Tuesday, March 5, at 6 pm to vote on the matter.

In addition to routine business, the board also recognized the teachers of the year in the various schools along with principal and supervisor of the year (see separate story and watch the presentations HERE on demand). Director Jennifer Fields said the school system has only had two cases of Covid this month and since last Wednesday, reported zero cases.

Fields added that the State of Tennessee is preparing to adopt new funding formulas for schools that should benefit Campbell County, but not until the next year. Campbell County is still facing a $1.4 million budget cut in state funding for the current year. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/10/2022-6AM-UPDATED – 03/10/2022-8AM)