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State takes step back from taking over lowest performing Hamilton Co. schools

Thursday, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen visited Chattanooga to discuss the state's partnership network with Hamilton County schools. (Image: WTVC)

Hamilton County's failing schools and a looming state takeover - it's something that's been on the table for more than year now.

Thursday, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen visited Chattanooga to discuss the state's partnership network with Hamilton County schools.

She tells us the state is now going to take a step back from taking over the lowest performing schools for one specific reason: the leadership change.

"We think that working together in this partnership has a lot of possibility and potential, but there are other things in Hamilton County that also need to be addressed," said McQueen. "We believe you have a leader in place that's attempting to address those too."

The state plans on letting the iZone schools remain a part of HCDE with additional support from the state.

During a work session Thursday night, McQueen told board members that, in this proposal, the governance will stay in Hamilton County schools.

"Certainly the state feels like you have to have confidence in the partner, who is in the field, leading this work. There's multiple changes and transitions that have occurred that has allowed us to see and feel confident about that work," McQueen said.

After McQueen finished her presentation, Communications Officer Tim Hensley presented the school board with a proposal on the school calendar.

The district formed a committee to look over the calendar.

The committee proposed making Thanksgiving break a full week while also still have a fall break in October. To make this possible, school would start a day earlier than normal and kids would be in school on President's Day.

A proposal board member Rhonda Thurman says she totally opposes.

"I've never voted on a calendar because we've always done stuff like this and this is the worst one I've seen yet," Thurman said. "It's getting worse instead of better."

If you are a parent or community member, school board members want you to reach out to them about your thoughts on this calendar proposal.


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