City To Allocate Over $1 Million To County Schools, Donate Poss Homes Property Behind Howard To Correct Hiatus In Payment Of Liquor-By-The-Drink Tax

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The city of Chattanooga will allocate over $1 million in funding in the FY2014 budget to the Hamilton County Department of Education and also donate the Poss Homes property behind Howard School (HCDE). 

The move comes after it was discovered that the city had stopped furnishing proceeds of the liquor-by-the-drink tax, which is due each year, in 2005.

City and county school officials in recent weeks have been in talks on how the city will catch up on the required payments.

Mayor Andy Berke said, “Youth development is the best investment we can make for our future. With a strong, forward looking partnership with the Hamilton County Department of Education, we will ensure we are doing our part in growing smarter students.”

City officials said, "For several years following the merger of the city and county school systems in 1998, the city made significant payments to HCDE.  From 2005 until early this year, those payments were halted.  Now, with Mayor Berke’s recently approved budget, funds are budgeted for public schools for the first time in nearly a decade."

Mayor Berke said, “We have spent the last 120 or so days reviewing all functions of city government. Because of the importance of youth development, ensuring that these funds are appropriately allocated to public education is a priority.

One portion of the city payment will bring access to 275,000 books, 5,000 e-books, and 22 databases for county school students.

The city budget includes $500,000 to support an early childhood development initiative at Calvin Donaldson Elementary School. Officials said, "This initiative will help bridge the gap of academic performance by increasing school readiness and will be administered by the Creative Discovery Museum."

Mayor Berke said the city "will move to donate the site of the former Poss Homes.  HCDE has stated it plans to support the construction of new athletic facilities on the site for the benefit of students at Howard School."

Rick Smith, school superintendent, said, “In the past, there have been some issues with how the funds were paid to the school system. I am excited that we have been able to work with Mayor Berke to reach a clear solution and we can move forward.

“I look forward to working with the Berke administration and commend them for their support in education initiatives like the Creative Discovery Museum’s early childhood development partnership at Calvin Donaldson Elementary as well as ensuring students at public schools have access to books that we know are so critical to their success.”


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report for Hamilton County: ASHLEY, WILLIAM TRACY     8281 COOK LANE HIXSON, 37343     25     Hamilton County          VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DOMESTIC ASSAULT) BAILEY, AVEUS     306 S LOVELL AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411     21    ... (click for more)

Crime Stoppers: Armed Robbery At Highway 58 Family Dollar

Crime Stoppers and the Chattanooga Police Department are seeking information and the identity of the suspects of an armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 4749 Highway 58.  On April 7, at approximately 8:10 a.m., Chattanooga police responded to a robbery at the Family Dollar.  Two masked suspects entered the store and demanded the money from the registers. One of the ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)

Owls' Fugate Fires Two-Hit Shutout In 2-0 Win Over Blue Raiders

Ooltewah was on the verge of a District 5-AAA double-header sweep against Cleveland. But the Blue Raiders’ hot-hitting catcher Hunter Oliver had other ideas. The Owls rode Logan Fugate’s brilliant two-hit shutout and two first-inning runs to a 2-0 win over Cleveland in the first game at A.C. Bud Ball Field on Wednesday. “Logan is an absolute warrior,” Owls coach Brian Hitchcox ... (click for more)

Bucs' Willingham Strikes Out School-Record 17 In 5-A Win

Boyd-Buchanan’s Brandon Willingham threw a three-hit, complete-game gem and set a school record with 17 strikeouts in the Bucs’ 7-1 victory over Copper Basin on Wednesday. Willingham, a sophomore, improved his record to 6-0 on the season while the Bucs went to 14-9 overall and 5-0 in District 5-A. Willingham threw 101 pitches with 73 strikes in dominating the Cougars. Willingham ... (click for more)