published Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Sequatchie County to run Marion County adult education program

  • photo
    Retired teacher Charlotte Cain goes over fractions with inmates at the Sequatchie County Jail during a GED class in this file photo.
    Photo by D. Patrick Harding

The adult education program in Sequatchie County has taken over the program in neighboring Marion County because of state budget cuts, a lack of participation and a lack of records reporting this fall, officials said.

Marva Doremus, state administrator for the Division of Adult Education, said data was compiled on the Marion County program's activities, but reports were not sent on to the state so officials were unable to gauge participation or performance.

The reporting problem arose after Marion's program supervisor, Randall Brown, retired in June, Doremus said. Brown's position remains unfilled.

But with Sequatchie County Adult Education Supervisor Charlotte Cain taking over supervision, those reports can get caught up and services can continue, Doremus said. The merger of two programs in small counties is not unusual, she said. There are about 10 such arrangements in the state.

Cain said Friday that she's reviewing the Marion operation to make sure student progress doesn't suffer.

"All the students on file will be contacted personally," she said. About a dozen students are ready to test for their GED, she said.

Classes will reconvene on schedule Jan. 9 and "students should have no problem attaining their GED," Cain said.

"It's just an administrative change, and classes will be where they've always been," she said. "The opportunities are still there, that's the bottom line."

Marion County Director of Schools Mark Griffith said participation fluctuates from year to year but has declined overall in recent years.

Services still will be available at the Regional Skills Center in Kimball, Griffith said.

Two jobs were affected, he said, a secretarial post and a teacher position. Both those employees were moved to jobs at Marion Academy, he said.

Sequatchie County Director of Schools Johnny Cordell said school board members approved the takeover this month along with a salary increase for Cain, since she will oversee Sequatchie's and the larger Marion County program.

Cain will earn around $60,000 a year, which is "about right for two counties," while there also were salary increases for two other staff members who will take on extra duties, Cordell said. The salaries are not permanent, but are set year to year depending on funding, he said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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