A divided board of Union County commissioners voted Monday to ask an outsider to look at the Union County Schools’ budget request for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The school system has requested a $16.3 million budget increase, and a majority of commissioners has said the money is not available.
With the jobs of several hundred teacher assistants hanging in the outcome, large crowds of parents have attended a series of public meetings in recent weeks, lobbying commissioners to approve the budget package.
Instead, in a 3-2 vote, commissioners decided to ask an outside consultant to study the budget plan. That consultant then will report back to commissioners. County officials are not sure what the study will cost.
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Voting for hiring the consultant were Jerry Simpson, Todd Johnson and Jonathan Thomas. Voting against were Tracy Kuehler and Kim Rogers.