The Tennessee Department of Education has rejected the county’s plan to divert $800,000 in school funding to make a debt payment. The opinion could force the Dickson County Commission to consider a property tax increase or other changes to its proposed 2013-14 budget to make up for the loss of anticipated revenue. Mayor Bob Rial said he is working on a proposal to present at a special session of the commission set for Monday night. The county had delayed approval of its new budget pending a review of the plan to divert funds by the state to determine whether it would meet the Maintenance of Effort requirements. Marty Spears of the County Technical Advisory Service, or CTAS, told the commission July 1 that he believed the county could withhold the expected debt payment and still meet MOE because of the 1999 agreement between the commission and school board. The school board rescinded that agreement July 9. Rial asked state education department financial officials to review the budget plan before it faces a final vote. “They did not agree with the county and CTAS on the interpretation of MOE from the information they had been given,” Rial said in an email. Director of Schools Dr. Danny Weeks and school board Chairman Tim Potter both said Thursday they had not seen the Department of Education opinion. “We have only received unofficial word. I am awaiting an official letter,” Weeks said in an email. “If it was a written opinion, I would like to read it,” Potter said in a text. Neither would comment on the opinion. Rial has previously said the loss of $800,000 in anticipated revenue could force the county to consider a property tax rate increase as high as 9-10 cents, find other cuts in the budget or dip into its fund balance to come up with the money. The commission also could go ahead with the budget as proposed, but the preliminary opinion from the Department of Education means it would most likely then reject the budget. If a budget that meets MOE is not approved by Oct. 1, the Department of Education could begin withholding state funds, which Weeks has said would force the county to close its school system until a budget is approved. The county commission has a special session scheduled for 7 pm Monday to vote on the budget and set the county property tax rate.