School board again approves plans to close Little Milligan

Published 1:10 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Robert Sorrell

Star Correspondent

The Carter County Board of Education has approved plans to continue with the closure of Little Milligan Elementary School.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Board members met Thursday to reconsider April’s decision to close the school. Board member Tony Garland, who made the motion to close Little Milligan in April, made the motion again on Thursday. The motion passed, but two members, Chairman Kelly Crain and Garry Oaks, voted no.

Director of Schools Brandon Carpenter said this year’s budget includes a .005% increase. He said several other cuts have been made in recent years in preparation for depleted ESSER funds.

Carpenter said there have also been numerous cost increases including gas and insurance prices.

The closure of Little Milligan saves the system $716,000, Carpenter said. Those funds will be used to pay for buses, safety measures and curriculum and instruction, he said.

“Financially, a larger school is more efficient,” Carpenter said.

Garland told those in attendance Thursday that he applauded and appreciated the multiple individuals that spoke about the closure during public comment.

“There is still passion in that community,” he said.

He added, “The community is still going to be a community.”

Students from Little Milligan will begin attending classes at Hampton Elementary School. The board also approved plans for teachers and staff at Little Milligan, who have been placed elsewhere.

The future of the Little Milligan property remains unknown. Board members discussed the possibility of leasing and selling property, transitioning the property into a community center and other plans. The board members said they want the community to be involved in the property’s future.

Carter County Schools has a $47 million budget, according to Carpenter, who said the board needs to be conservative with taxpayers’ money.