March, 18 2018
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Tennessee Academy for Troubled Youth Loses State Funding
A 10-year-old program to help troubled teens is coming to an end because state funding has run out.
The X-CEL Academy is being zeroed from the county budget, Juvenile Court director Chip Bryant told members of the Bradley County Commission's Finance Committee on Wednesday.
Where Troubled Teens Will get Help Now
But Mr. Bryant said the local court has a variety of other programs to help young people.
"Juvenile Court's goal is to rehabilitate children," Mr. Bryant said.
Those programs include Campus Courts, funded through a grant from Healthy Students/Safe Schools Initiative; the Parents Program, aimed at preventing teen drinking; and the Family Friends program.
The Finance Committee was asked to accept budget amendments showing grant money has ended for several programs for juveniles.
County Mayor D. Gary Davis said funding trends are changing.
"We worked hard to get money for juvenile drug court," he said. "There is a lot of money being spent on kids."
X-CEL Academy offered basic education courses for ages 12-15 with an added emphasis on physical fitness. It began in 1997 under a different name and served a four-county area, Mr. Bryant said.
In 2005, local officials feared a loss of state funding and announced fundraising plans.
Mr. Davis said Bradley County could have picked up costs for the program. But county leaders don't want to be forced to take over programs when state funding runs out, as they were earlier with school resource officers.
"Everyone is aware of the pressures from needs for schools and others," Finance Committee Chairman Ed Elkins said.
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