Fixing HCDE’s Budget

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Much discussion has occurred  about the HCDE budget.  Many suggestions have been offered, some good, some a little far fetched.  But it is interesting to note that anyone who sneezes and accidentally waves a UnifyEd or XQ Institute banner makes front page news while often good ideas are ignored.

I believe Rhonda Thurman was on the right track, a few weeks ago, when she suggested HCDE take the highest paid teacher as the top of the scale for teacher raises and give that person and everyone below that rate of pay a 5 percent raise, or something along those lines. This solution in essence gives all classroom teachers and all those below that highest paid teacher a raise while eliminating the raises for the higher paid administrative staff.  

Recently in the chattanoogan.com a list of the highest paid personnel in HCDE was published.  This list raised many eyebrows.  Thousands of qualified readers wished they had one of those $80,000- $175,000 plus jobs.  I know these people work hard, but many asked the question, is this excessive compensation for our local market, especially while the teachers are being paid less than competitive wages for their level of educational attainment?  Additional resentment occurred when the people making the most money are asking for a raise for themselves at the taxpayers' expense.  Our Constitution was set up for the government to be run “by the people for the people”,  not for the people by the people in charge.  The HCDE asked for taxpayers to make a monetary sacrifice, now let’s ask those who are in charge to make the same monetary sacrifice by eliminating raises for themselves at taxpayers' expense.  The fact is for every $80,000 and above administrator who does not get a 5 percent raise, two or three average paid classroom teachers will get a full 5 percent raise.

I’m not an attorney but I have worked over 25 years in administration and know a little about labor laws.  It is my understanding that salary adjustments or reductions in force for that matter, can be applied to any specific category of employment or pay grades, as long as one is consistent in the administration of the policy to all individuals within that set of employment parameters.  This means that essentially any pay grade or job description can be targeted for employment policy, in this case a raise, as long as there is consistent application of policy across the board.  

A daily poll is running on the chattanoogan.com as of the writing of this opinion article.  At last glance 79 percent of the respondents support pay raises for classroom teachers only.  It’s time for the people to take back our government and for HCDE to work for the people.  

Thanks again to Commissioners Boyd, Bankston, Fairbanks, Martin and Chairwoman Smedley for their wisdom in voting down the $0.34 tax increase.

Dean Moorhouse

Roy Exum: It’s Right Vs. Wrong

Marti Rutherford: County Mayor Coppinger Should Be Applauded For His Courage - And Response (2)

Debbi Meyers - A Voice We Need, A Voice We Deserve


A month ago the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, led a delegation of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, to kneel for a symbolic eight minutes and 40 seconds in Washington’s ... (click for more)

We vote for people for lots of reasons; some reasons are sound and some are rather silly. But when we elect a person, we hope that person will do a good job and will provide security and economic ... (click for more)



Opinion

Roy Exum: It’s Right Vs. Wrong

A month ago the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, led a delegation of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, to kneel for a symbolic eight minutes and 40 seconds in Washington’s Emancipation Hall in memory of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis in an arrest gone awry on May 25. The kneeling ceremony was revolting. George Floyd was a known thug, ... (click for more)

Marti Rutherford: County Mayor Coppinger Should Be Applauded For His Courage - And Response (2)

We vote for people for lots of reasons; some reasons are sound and some are rather silly. But when we elect a person, we hope that person will do a good job and will provide security and economic growth for our community. We have been fortunate to have elected such a person in County Mayor Jim Coppinger; therefore, with his leadership, he has had to make hard decisions. Some ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Has Record 71 In Hospital With Coronavirus; Tennessee Has 25 More Deaths

The number of coronavirus patients in Chattanooga hospitals has risen to the highest level yet - 71. That includes 37 from Hamilton County. The previous high was 65 on June 10. The number of those in Intensive Care has dropped back down to 17. Hamilton County has had 104 more coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 3,180. Deaths remain at 36. There ... (click for more)

UTC Commencement Ceremonies Are Canceled

UTC officials have canceled commencement ceremonies that had been postponed to August, due to COVID. Officials said, "Back in March when COVID-19 first made its way to Chattanooga, a conclusion was reached to postpone commencement ceremonies until August. We hoped the virus would run its course and that we could safely celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 in August. ... (click for more)

Sports

John Shearer: Former Chattanoogan Rick Crawford Was Early Mentor To Lance Armstrong

Nearly 50 years ago, Rick Crawford was a blossoming young athlete at Bright School and at Baylor School in the lower grades before his family moved to the Atlanta area. He later realized he had a gift for endurance sports, and that carried him into a career as a long-distance runner at Georgia and then as one of the nation’s top professional triathletes and cyclists for a ... (click for more)

Highly Ranked Florida Champ Joining Mocs Grapplers

As the unforgettable summer of 2020 rolls on, so does GoMocs.com's look at the incoming recruiting class for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling program. This week's featured newcomer is Noah Castillo, a highly regarded prep talent from the state of Florida. Castillo is a three-time state champion from Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Fla., where he competed ... (click for more)