Hamilton County School Board passes revised budget 7-2
The Hamilton County School Board passed the revised budget 7-2 on Thursday evening.
School board member Rhonda Thurman was one of two people who voted 'no' on the revised budget.
"I quite frankly am ticked off about it," said Thurman during the school board meeting.
Thurman feels the funds could be put to use elsewhere.
"Oh I think it hurts our school buildings-- I mean that fund balance really should be used to do a lot of repairs to our schools," Thurman told Channel 3.
The 7-2 vote drew applause from a room full of teachers.
"I'm glad that teachers got two wins tonight-- they got a little bit more money in their pocket and they got a little more support for their classroom," said Hamilton County teacher Steven Hinkle.
Now that the school board has passed the budget-- county commissioners will have the final vote next month. If approved, Hamilton County teachers will see a $1500 bonus in November.
Teachers call the vote a win, even though it's not the raise they had hoped for.
"It's not everything they need and we still have a lot of work to do but it is a step in the right direction," Hinkle told Channel 3.
Other educators said they will continue the fight for teacher pay raises in Hamilton County.
"In the future we are going to focus on teacher pay raises and bringing that to the county commission," HCSD teacher Bailey Payne told Channel 3.
School board member Joe Smith was one of the seven who voted yes on the budget.
"My hope is that our children in the classroom benefit," said Smith.
Smith says the new budget will give teachers more help in the classrooms.
"You're going to have some additional counselors, some additional Special Ed folks, just a lot of support the teachers have been begging for," Smith told Channel 3.