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.”


Nashville Man Charged With Solicitation To Commit Murder

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Davidson County man, who is charged with trying to get someone to kill his wife.  At the request of 20th District Attorney General Glenn Funk, TBI special agents began investigating Gary Alan Montgomery on May 2, after receiving information that Montgomery was looking ... (click for more)

Rep. JoAnne Favors Announces Candidacy For 28th Legislative District House seat

Rep. J oAnne Favors has announced her candidacy for the 28 th Legislative District House seat in the Aug. 4 Democratic Primary. She said, “My constituents and I have remained remarkably well connected through the years and my election will ensure continuation of a strong voice in the legislature charged with experience, expertise and energy.   These   abilities ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)

Mustangs Clip Raiders, 4-3, On Chambers' Clutch RBI Hit In 10th

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Winning two regular season games against Cleveland was no picnic for the Walker Valley Mustangs. Capturing a win-or-go-home District 5-3A tournament showdown with the Blue Raiders was even tougher to nail down for coach Joe Shamblin’s squad. Bunts by Jacob McCall and Hunter Shamblin set the stage for Jacob Chambers’ walk-off RBI single in the 10 th ... (click for more)

East Ridge And CFCA Reach New Contract

The city of East Ridge and the Chattanooga Futbol Club Academy (CFCA) have agreed to a new five-year soccer field-use agreement for five fields at Camp Jordan Park. The agreement allows CFCA to practice at Camp Jordan Park and play games there on fields 1-5. The East Ridge Futbol Club (ERFC) plays recreation soccer on fields 6-8 and often works with CFCA to use field 5 on Saturday ... (click for more)