Hamilton County teachers meeting with commissioners and school board to discuss teacher pay
Last month, a group of Hamilton County teachers sent an open letter to the Hamilton County Commission calling out the commissioners for voting against funding for public education. Now, those teachers are gearing up for a town hall on Sunday to talk about teacher pay in the county.
More than 1,300 people have signed on to the original open letter, supporting the group called Hamilton County United.
In the past few months, the commission voted down a 34-cent property tax increase and a wheel tax referendum aimed at education funding.
"More money on top of not enough money is still not enough,” teacher Kendra Young said. "If the bill is $20, and I hand you $10, just because I hand you $15 the next time doesn't mean I gave you enough."
After attempts to get more funding from the county for teacher pay failed during budget talks, Young and other teachers wrote the open letter to the commissioners.
"We were totally surprised when the budget didn't pass. That was especially true for me because I did go to a couple of the commission meetings over the summer,” Young said.
More than 1,300 people have since signed on. They'll take their frustrations to commissioners at the town hall.
"What we hear is completely different from the feedback the county commissioners claim they're getting from their constituents,” Young said.
Commissioner Tim Boyd, one of the five named in the open letter, wrote that he won't be there and that teacher pay isn't an issue for the commission to handle.
Young says she hopes the commissioners and school board hear them out.
"This is a massive opportunity for everyone to stand together and decide that this is important and figure out how to fix it,” she said.
The town hall is Sunday, November 17th at 3 p.m. at the Brainerd Youth and Development Center. Channel 3's David Carroll is moderating.
Channel 3 reached out to the county commissioners to see who plans to attend. District Six Commissioner David Sharpe said he'd go. Commissioners Warren Mackey and Katherlyn Geter told organizers they would attend. Five other commissioners said no and one did not respond.