Hamilton Schools staffers want pay raise amid layoffs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hamilton Schools staffers want pay raise amid layoffs

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UPDATE: 10:30 PM

Time is ticking for a final budget and Hamilton County school board members are crunching the numbers before the June deadline.

With a $10 million dollar gap to fill, and weeks before the final proposal is due, some say balancing the budget has been an arduous task.

One section of the budget presentation struck a bad nerve with board members.

Five central office staffers requested pay raises.

This comes as the school system is looking to eliminate 45 teaching positions, more than half coming from high schools.

The staff members asking for the raise are four program coordinators and a school nurse.

Dr Jim Scales says those workers have taken on triple the work load since joining the school system.

The amount of the raises weren't readily available during the meeting.

Rhonda Thurman says she was appalled by the request.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Dozens of cuts are likely in the upcoming year's Hamilton County school budget.

Board members met Thursday afternoon to hash it out.

Board members are working under pressure as they try to finalize this budget.

Right now, the school system is facing a $10 million shortfall. School Superintendent Doctor Scales is calling this his toughest budget yet.

There have been a few changes which have taken place since the last meeting in April. One of those is eliminating another $1.4 million in bonuses that is normally matched by the state.

The school board also wants to eliminate 45 teaching jobs, more than half coming from high schools.

One moment where many board members disagreed is when five central office workers asked for raises. Board member Rhonda Thurman was visibly upset. Dr. Scales almost stood alone defending those raises.

Also none of the budget included health insurance costs.

We are told the board will also discuss how they will spend the Race to the Top funds.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News is at the board meeting and will have the latest developments in the budget talks as they become available.

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