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.”


Corker Says Obama Administration’s Response To Russia’s Intervention In Ukraine Is “A Day Late And A Dollar Short”

Appearing on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Friday, Senator Bob Corker said the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has been “a day late and a dollar short.”    “I think the administration has created this air of permissiveness,” said Senator Corker. “What we did in Syria, by jumping into Russia’s lap and letting them ... (click for more)

Corker Says Obama Administration Makes “Every Excuse Imaginable” In Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the Obama administration’s announcement that it will delay again its decision on the Keystone XL pipeline:  “It’s amazing to watch this administration make every excuse imaginable to delay a project that is unquestionably a win for our country, our economy ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Some Really Funny Tweets

I am not on Twitter so I don’t tweet. Difficulties with my right hand don’t even allow me to text and when you blend in the fact I am now a bonafide senior citizen, it is ample reason for me to live a life where I am lacking in what otherwise might be achieved through social networking. Twitter has done real well without me. It is one of the 10 most visited websites in the world; ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy Uses Eight-Run Inning To Subdue Lincoln County, 13-3

An early two-run deficit meant nothing to Soddy-Daisy’s baseball team Thursday night. Catcher Dillon Clift and pitcher Andy Wright each hit two-run homers, Tre Carter stole home and Soddy-Daisy scored eight runs in the second inning en route to a 13-3 win over Lincoln County in the Trojan Classic at Tom Higgins Field. “We’ve given up a few of those,” Trojans coach Jared Hensley ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Softball Hosts MTSU

The Chattanooga Mocs softball team is set to host in-state rival Middle Tennessee Friday and Saturday at Frost Stadium in a non-conference two-game set.  The Good Friday game is set to begin 5 p.m. with Saturday’s finale starting at Noon. Chattanooga is currently 24-17 with a 9-5 Southern Conference mark – just 2.5 games back of SoCon leading Georgia Southern – while Middle ... (click for more)