The Bell County Board of Education at their regular meeting Tuesday opted to change the nursing service provider for the school district.
After much deliberation during a special-called meeting in July, the board contracted the Bell County Health Department over Family Health Care to provide nursing services at the six Bell County schools for the 2015-2016 school year.
Last year Family Health Care had the contract with the school district. The Bell County Health Department were awarded the contract for this year and had agreed to staff a satellite site clinic at Bell’s six schools, and provide the schools with 187 days of service in the year.
The board has now decided to use the services of Christian healthcare provider – Grace Community Health Center. The center says they have received a $650,000 grant to provide the nursing services to the school system. The center also offers health department nurses employment with the center at a higher pay rate than they currently receive.
In other business:
The board voted to reinstate pre-game prayer before football games. Prayers will be student lead over the public address system instead of minister lead as it had been done in the past.
Parent Joe Humfleet from the boosters program addressed the board requesting the reinstatement. The board also received a letter and collection of signatures from students also in request of returning the pre-game prayer.
Bell County school officials had ended the tradition of having a minister lead prayer over the loud speakers before games back in 2011 because of a complaint and threat of lawsuit from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group that promotes the separation of church and state.
A new tax rate with a 4 percent increase was also discussed. “The taxes are needed but I just feel it’s bad timing,” said board member Larry Elliot. “The economy in the area is in the red and I just don’t think it’s a good idea right now.”
It was decided the tax rate will have no increase.
Reach William Tribell at 606 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn