Hamilton County commissioner opposes new school budget
Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd held a community meeting Thursday evening to speak out against a proposed tax increase that would allow the school district to increase teacher pay and add new positions.
When Channel 3 asked how he would vote on the issue in June, he said, "Absolutely no."
The proposed tax increase would cover a $34 million hike in the school district's budget.
"I don't like the 34 million dollar tax increase at all," Boyd told Channel 3.
Boyd noted multiple issues in the budget he did not agree with.
"Teachers aren't being paid less and they aren't being lost to neighboring counties because of pay," said Boyd.
On Hamilton County School's website, under Budget Presentation, it states Hamilton County School teachers are paid less than Cleveland, Maryville, and Oak Ridge School Districts.
Channel 3 spoke to a member of the Hamilton County School Board after Commissioner Boyd claimed the board was spreading misinformation.
"To sit there and say we're just spewing misinformation is really just a slap in the face to us board members," said Tucker McClendon, a board member for Hamilton County schools.
Tucker McClendon is one of seven school board members who voted in favor of asking for the increase. He says the budget will pay for a 5% increase for all teachers to compete with higher paying districts and 350 additional positions including counselors and truancy officers.
The new budget would allow for more art and language teachers. Around 20 people were at Saturday's meeting-- some in attendance showed up to tell Commissioner Boyd that the new budget is what the district needs.
"I just hope that they will support this budget and get more social workers and art teachers and all the things that students need to succeed," said Chris Stuart, a Hamilton County parent.
Boyd says the cost is just too high.
"They can't prove to me that counselors or social workers are going to make any effect," said Boyd.
Commissioner Boyd plans to hold another meeting on June 16.
For District 5, a meeting with Commissioner Katherlyn Geter at Brainerd High School will be held June 3 at 6:30 p.m.
On June 6, District 3 will also hold a community meeting with Commissioner Greg Martin and school board member Joe Smith at Stuart Heights Baptist Church at 6 p.m.
Stay with Channel 3 as we learn more on this developing story.