County School Board Seeking To Find Ways To Balance Budget; Asking Carryover Of Race To The Top Funds

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Superintendent Rick Smith said Thursday that when he took office, only 51 percent of the budgeted money went directly to schools. Now, he said the number is closer to 75 percent.

He told County School Board members at a budget meeting, "I want the dollars where the kids are," adding, "I think our dollars are spent much more wisely now than ever before."

As the idea of a tax increase has been unpopular with the County Commission and many Hamilton County residents, the School Board discussed its options for trimming down the budget to get the money it needs.

Superintendent Smith said, "We still don't have a system where our revenue increases, where that front page matches the inflation in our budget. Trying to manage the inflation and make this thing balance is a challenge."

One thing the Board is doing is requesting an additional year for the Race to the Top money from the state.

Director of Accounting and Budgeting Christie Jordan said, "We're requesting a year 5 carryover from Race to the Top. We are proposing to ask the state is to carry $11 million of that into the next year to finish that."

Board Member Greg Martin said, "We're not asking for more money, we're just asking for more time."

Mr. Martin also said the Board should advocate for more specific needs in the future. He said, "I think we get criticized a lot for just asking for a blank check."

Board Member Rhonda Thurman suggested cutting back on ineffective school programs to save money.

She said, "Some of these programs have been around since I've been there and no one has ever been able to say whether they work or not." She quoted Ronald Reagan, saying, "The closest thing to eternal life on this earth is a government program."

Director Jordan said, "We're taking a lower number of people and doing an increasing number of things. You better be getting something back for every person you have in the budget."


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLGOOD, KEVIN DEWAYNE     2001 E 12TH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404     31     Hamilton County          FAILURE TO APPEAR BELL, MARCUS LAJUAN     2418 KIRBY AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404     31     Hamilton ... (click for more)

Knoxville Couple Injured In Motorcycle Accident In Cleveland Early Saturday Morning

Two people were injured early Saturday in a motorcycle accident in Cleveland. At 5:58 a.m a motorcycle operated by an individual identified as Dale Dockery, 48, of Knoxville, struck the concrete barrier on I-75 at the exit 20 off ramp. Mr. Dockery was headed southbound toward Chattanooga. He and his wife Karen, 48, were transported by Bradley County EMS to Erlanger. ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: O’Reilly’s Rant On Race

I don’t really care whether you like Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly but I strongly believe I must share an urgent transcript with you of what he said earlier this week. It’s been talked about on every network and it speaks boldly to the very heart of an American epidemic. Last weekend in Chicago 47 people were shot and five of them died. Black-on-black shootings have gotten ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Crushes Sacramento Gold 4-1; Advances To National Championship Game

Not only did they win, they won big.  The Chattanooga Football Club becomes the first team in NPSL history to play in three national championships.  CFC scored four unanswered goals Saturday to beat visiting Sacramento Gold 4-1.   Sacramento scored on a long shot by Jason Jones in the 13th minute to take a 1-0 lead.   Chattanooga would answer with two goals ... (click for more)

Stars Sink Lookouts Sunday, 8-4

Huntsville, AL --- The Huntsville Stars erased a 4-1 deficit late in the game Sunday and scored a combined seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to comeback and defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts 8-4 at Joe Davis Stadium.  With the win, the Stars ended their season long five game losing streak. Recap Chattanooga starter Nick Struck who dominated the Stars over ... (click for more)