Audit Of County School Spending Is Warranted - And Response

Friday, September 15, 2017

Like many people in this community, I want to see major changes in public education.  There is a spirited movement to improve Hamilton County schools, and I am encouraged that local leaders are taking a vested interest in repairing the physical brokenness with the recently approved funding.  

I stand with UnifiEd’s proposal for an audit, as we have to show great responsibility to make both ethical and equitable decisions with taxpayer dollars.  In our private households we evaluate the needs and then prioritize – so should it be when we budget for facility repairs and upgrades for county schools. 

The issue of accountability is raised because all stakeholders deserve transparency in this process – from parents and community members on up to public officials.  Our educators and students deserve a high quality learning experience, but when they are absent due to sickness from classroom mold infestation or injury from dilapidated flooring, we interrupt and delay their opportunities to be successful.  They deserve better from us.  

Hamilton County Department of Education can be a leader for the state – let us see this facility plan and sufficiently evaluate where we really are so we can get every single site up to par.     

Neisha Harris

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Forget a capital-needs-only audit; let's see a full audit of the Department of Education. County taxpayers are going to pay almost half a billion (yes, billion with a B) dollars this year for one of the worst school systems in the state. HCDE accounts for over 60 percent of county spending, yet in the 739-page Hamilton County budget, HCDE takes up two pages, showing only broad categories such as "Office of the Principal," "Fiscal Services," "Central and Other," etc. The HCDE website is equally uninformative. As taxpayers, we are purchasing an overpriced, poor quality product, and we have a right to know where our money is disappearing to.

Roy Exum showed us in his May 9 column that, given money but no oversight, the school board will purchase the (incompatible with everything else) electronic toy of the hour instead of fixing leaky roofs or buying much-needed school supplies. "It's for the children" does not excuse wastefulness.
 
If we want good schools for our children, tax dollars must come with strict scrutiny to avoid a repeat performance, and the first step is a deep audit of HCDE's wasteful spending. No amount of funding will fix poor money management.

Charles McCullough

Memorial Day Remembrance

Roy Exum: The Easy Way To Win

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies


Memorial/Decoration Day officially became rooted in the American consciousness by Major General and then head of the fraternal organization of the Grand Army of the Republic Commander in Chief ... (click for more)

Within hours after the shocking news came Tuesday that a Twin Cities university was booted out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference “because St. Thomas won too much,” some of ... (click for more)

With all due reverence and respect for Memorial Day this Monday, The Saturday Funnies knows that those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom deserve not our laughter, but our warm memories ... (click for more)


Opinion

Memorial Day Remembrance

Memorial/Decoration Day officially became rooted in the American consciousness by Major General and then head of the fraternal organization of the Grand Army of the Republic Commander in Chief John A. Logan's General Order No. 11., which publicly conveyed that, “the 30th day of May 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Easy Way To Win

Within hours after the shocking news came Tuesday that a Twin Cities university was booted out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference “because St. Thomas won too much,” some of the talking heads in the news media put the blame squarely where it belongs. In a nation where 35 percent of the population is on some type of welfare and more than 10 million illegal immigrants ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Person Pulled From Burning Home On Airport Road Saturday Morning

A person was pulled from a burning home on Airport Road on Saturday morning. Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to 900 Airport Road Lot #92 on a residential structure fire with entrapment at approximately 9 a.m. Incident Commander Lieutenant Jack Babb reported fire and smoke showing upon arrival. Two residents had exited the structure prior to firefighters arrival, but ... (click for more)

Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department Saves Boat From Fire Saturday Afternoon

The Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department saved a million-dollar boat Saturday afternoon. A boat owner called 911 reporting a boat fire located at the Chattanooga Yacht Club at 9400 North Hickory Valley Road. The Dallas Bay VFD responded by boat and arrived on the scene reporting smoke and flames in the engine area. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire due to 900 gallons ... (click for more)

Sports

East Hamilton Boys Basketball Coach Frank Jones 'Steps Away'

Frank Jones has ridden off into the coaching sunset once again. Jones, who returned to the sideline to coach the East Hamilton boys’ team, officially confirmed what three sources at the school said earlier in the day: that he has quit as the Hurricanes’ coach after one season. “I’ve decided to step away from coaching basketball and it wasn’t an easy decision but is the best ... (click for more)

CFC Holds 45-Minute Lead Over Powerhouse Real Betis, Then Is Edged 4-3 Before 6,000 Delirious Fans

For that dreamlike amount of time, the Chattanooga Football Club held a slim 1-0 lead over La Liga giant Real Betis. Joao Costa put CFC on the board with 12 minutes gone in the match, slipping past Betis’ front line on a looping pass before smashing the ball into the back of the net. Before 6,000 raucous Chattanooga supporters, the Scenic City’s semi-pro squad appeared en-route ... (click for more)