The Tullahoma City Schools $35 million budget has passed, and it includes three new positions for the district.

At the Monday, June 15 meeting of the Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education, Director of Schools Catherine Stephens outlined three new positions the budget would bring to TCS.

“Per board policy 5.116, when a new position is added, board members must be provided a job description, the qualifications necessary and professional responsibilities, essential functions or duties of the role,” she said during the meeting.

The first new position is a school psychologist, Stephens said.

Currently, the school psychologist is staffed through a contract with the health service Soliant, though the position was at one point a TCS-staffed position.

“Administration recommends that this positions be moved back to a TCS-staffed position with a 210-day contract,” Stephens said of the position.

By moving the position back to one filled by TCS, the district will see “financial savings” as well as a five-year commitment from the psychologist hired.

The second position is another social worker. There is currently only one school social worker for the special education program, Stephens said, and they can only work with students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

“A general education social worker is needed to provide services for students needing this specific help,” Stephens said. The need exists, she added, citing 82 different referrals that were not made to the special education social worker in the 2019-2020 school year.

These were not given to that social worker because those students did not have IEPs, Stephens said, so the social worker was unable to help them.

“In light of the current time, where mental health needs are growing, and in conjunction with COVID-19 and the social/emotional strain, administration recommends the addition of a general education social worker,” Stephens said.

The final new position is a general education teacher in the behavior modification setting.

According to Stephens, the special education teacher currently assigned to the behavior modification class focuses on “extreme behavior support as well as curriculum.”

“To ensure students’ academic needs are met in this setting, adding a general education teacher to this classroom will ensure access to the core curriculum for general education students,” Stephens said.

All three new positions were accepted as part of the FY21 budget, which passed unanimously June 15.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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