WRCB and the Chattanooga Times Free Press partnered to host a live event called State of Education: A Town Hall Meeting on Thursday evening.  

WRCB School Patrol Anchor David Carroll and Times Free Press Business Editor Dave Flessner co-moderated.

Among the planned topics were Parent/Community Involvement, Recruiting Teachers, Workforce Development, Funding, and Alternatives to Zoned Schools. 

How do parents become more involved in public schools? What should those in the community who do not have school-aged children do to help? What is the system doing to recruit better teachers? How will students with no plans for college be prepared to immediately enter the local workforce after high school? Is funding a problem or an excuse? What impact do private schools and transfers out of zone have on the overall system?


  • Jared Bigham, Chattanooga 2.0 Coordinator
  • Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County Mayor
  • Elizabeth Crews, UnifiED Executive Director
  • Tony Donen, STEM School Principal 
  • Chris Earl, Howard Principal
  • Sen. Todd Gardenhire, State Education Committee Vice Chair
  • Kirk Kelly, HCDE Acting Superintendent
  • Bryan Robinson, Tyner High School Teacher
  • Valerie Rutledge, UTC Head of Education
  • David Steele, VP of Policy and Education, Chattanooga Chamber
  • Elaine Swafford, Executive Director, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy 
  • Bill Stacy, Former UTC Chancellor and Former Baylor Headmaster
  • Edna Varner, Senior Advisor, Public Education Foundation