HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (Times Free Press) -- Superintendent Rick Smith says the equation is simple: New schools + new kids = new costs.

While Volkswagen's arrival and growth in other industries were an economic boon for the region, they also drove up the cost of doing business for Hamilton County Schools: Enrollment has increased nearly 5 percent over the past five years.

That has meant new buildings in certain areas, along with teachers and staff to fill them.

Smith says he won't ask for a budget increase this year, but he wants county leaders to be aware of future needs. And the superintendent isn't talking about a one-shot bump in funding, but a recurring boost in money for local education.

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