Members of the Signal Mountain School System Viability Community spent Friday morning combing through a mock budget with state education leaders. 

They learned their estimates for operating a municipal school district for the first year were on the right track with the state's finance director. 

"The bottom line hasn't changed much but what we've been able to do is go through every single number, every line and validate it with a specific source," SMSSVC Chairman John Friedl said. 

Friedl said it's the committee's job to investigate how Signal Mountain leaders would go about forming their own district, like the costs associated with equipment, maintenance as well as retirement. 

A decision hasn't been made if Signal Mountain will or will not break away from Hamilton County, but if it did, about 2,500 students would make up the municipal school district. 

"Our committee, by it's bylaws and by it's creation is required to remain neutral so we are not seeking opinions on whether or not this is a good or bad idea," he added. 

Members are now ready for the next step of meeting with other municipal school district leaders. 

Next week, they will meet with three districts that broke away from Shelby County Schools in 2013. 

"How they did it. What obstacles and pitfalls they encountered. How they overcame those obstacles and most importantly, whether it's contributed to the quality of education in their communities," he said.

Committee members hope to present their report to the Signal Mountain city council in the Fall. 

It will then be the job of city council members to use that information and decide if they want to move forward with the next step in that process.