Hamilton County School Board members discuss new balanced budget
Hamilton County School Board Members cut more than 7% from their proposed $443 million dollar budget, which is a $33 million dollar cut. However, with growth from last year's property taxes, the school system's $410 million dollar budget represents a $20 million increase from last year.
Several school board members were disappointed with the new balanced budget.
Jenny Hill was one of many school board members disappointed with the new budget proposal, saying those cuts hurt all students and teachers in Hamilton County.
"It's really..striking to see it in black and white what Hamilton County Students are going to miss out on. Without the funding for the vision the board has,” Hill said.
The new plan comes after the Hamilton County Commission turned down their previous budget.
Cuts would mean fewer VW labs being built in schools, and fewer special education assistants and teachers.
"How important that the things that were funded in this budget are at the end of the day to the students and for teachers and they are really what our taxpayers deserve,” Hill said.
The pay increase promised to teachers also is taking a hit.
Instead of a five percent raise, the new budget would give teachers just a 2.5% raise.
Board Chairman Joe Wingate says if the County Commission really wanted to make change, they would have voted for the original budget.
"I've been hearing from folks who have been elected officials for three and four terms how bad the school system is and it's been under their watch. I don't have any time for that. So, we either about solutions or find something else to do,” Wingate said.
Wingate hopes whatever budget is passed will make the school system and Hamilton County better.
"Education has not been one of those things that have attracted folks either to work in the system or for their families to be involved or educated in the system. And I just want it to change. I'm passionate about my home town,” Wingate said.
Thursday’s proposal isn’t the final budget they will vote on.
Dr. Bryan Johnson wanted to make that very clear during the meeting, and they plan to have vote on their final budget soon.
Stay with Channel 3 as this story develops.