Public to vote on building of new Dalton public school - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Public to vote on building of new Dalton public school

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There could be a new school in Dalton in the next few years.

Dalton city council members voted 3-1 Monday night to let the public decide by voting.

Interim Superintendent Don Amonett hopes the public will vote yes to giving the school system more than $50 million dollars in bonds.

He said the money would fund a new school he believes will give students a better learning environment.

Lea Hartline works in Dalton, her son is a sophomore at Dalton High School.

"We've got a great system," she said about the schools.

However, parents like Hartline and educators argue the school is facing a big problem.

"We know we've got to fix this problem," Hartline urged, "We've got to make room for these kids."

The problem is overcrowding.

Amonett said there isn't an empty class room at the middle or high school

He believes a new school is the solution.

The school would serve sixth and seventh graders.

"We feel it would be much better if we could have smaller schools," Amonett urged.

It's not a traditional set-up, but educators said having an elementary, lower middle, upper middle, and high school will help get rid of problems the schools currently face.  

"We have a problem in the Dalton Public School system with overcrowding," urged Hartline.

But not everyone agrees.

At the city council meeting Monday night many people raised concerns. They said they're worried the money won't be used for a new school.

"There's no promise they're going to build a new school," one person said.  

Some argued the vote is too soon.

"November will be here before we know it. It is now August," another person said to the council.

But they are issues school board members said they will address with the public.

"We'll be going out to them to try to make sure they understand exactly what everything is going to be done," said Amonett.

Even though some people are opposed to the new school, Hartline said she's happy the council is letting the community decide.

"I like people getting to decide, every time," she said.

If the vote passes in November, Amonett said the goal is to open the new school in 2020. 

Amonett said there will be a list on the school board's website soon with information regarding public meetings.


School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.


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