Hamilton Co. teachers, students ask school board for more money for education
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. —
The Hamilton County School Board decided to hold off on approving a budget that would ask the county for tens of millions more dollars.
The central office has proposed a $397 million budget, $33 million more than last year's budget.
Christie Jordan with the finance department says the system's growth has given them $9 million more, so they'll only have to ask the county for $24 million.
The Hamilton County Commission will have the final say on how much the school system receives.
The school board spent a long time talking about the budget, Thursday night, before eventually tabling the vote until later.
Joe Smith proposed a property tax increase to help with the funding.
The county hasn't had a property tax increase in 12 years.
Before the meeting, UnifiEd, a local education advocacy organization, held a rally outside the board room.
Parents and teachers held signs that read "Education is Priceless" and "Fund Our Future".
Teacher Veronica McCuiston says she wants a pay increase, a school nurse and an art program at North Hamilton Elementary.
"We have a great school but we have not had an art teacher so we're really looking forward t that," she said.
Kellen Howard is only in fifth grade but knows she wants to be an orthodontist.
She wants the county to give more money to the school system so her school will have technology to reach her career goal.
"It would really help me by like getting the technology to help me study," she said.
The school board will hold a special session next Thursday to discuss the budget.