Overcrowding in some Hamilton County schools could be eased if, as expected, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger's proposal for a property tax increase is approved by Commissioners on Wednesday.
Coppinger has proposed keeping the millage at the same rate after this year's property reappraisals, which would result in a tax increase of approximately ten percent for many county homeowners. The additional revenue would provide about $100 million for new schools and school improvements. Earlier this year, School Board members voted on a priority list for school replacements, placing new buildings for Harrison Elementary School and Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts at the top of the list. Both schools are more than seventy years old. Harrison has been plagued by raw sewage in hallways, and CSLA has battled mold and rodents.
Enrollment figures for the 2017-18 school year were released by school officials recently, revealing some significant increases in the county's fastest-growing areas.
Among schools with the largest enrollment increases between 2015 and 2017 are:
At the same time, many schools have experienced sharp declines in enrollment since 2015:
Schools not listed had an insignificant increase or decrease in enrollment. The County Commission is expected to approve Mayor Coppinger's property tax increase proposal on Wednesday September 6. School Board members meet on September 19, and are expected to discuss the school replacement/improvement plan they approved earlier this year.