School Superintendent lays out why he’s asking for so much money

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – If Dr. Bryan Johnson gets what he wants, your property taxes are going up in Hamilton County.

On Tuesday, the Superintendent laid out why the schools need a lot more money this year.

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Our Ashley Henderson shows us what he told commissioners.

Superintendent Johnson says he’s mindful of the fact that the County Commissioners are trying to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money. That’s why he says he wanted to give such a comprehensive presentation. It lasted more than an hour an a half.

Included was a 5% raise for teachers. He told commissioners, competition with our surrounding States and counties is intense.

“We’re, you know, less than two hours from Knox, two hours from Nashville, two hours from Atlanta, so we’re kind of in a perfect hub, but also a place where, people make decisions and based on earning potential.”

Mayor Jim Coppinger, who will prepare the final county budget, says the commissioners will have to decide how critical the needs are, this year.

“We realize that moving forward that the 34 million dollars that he’s asking for, would require a tax increase, so you know, again, we like to avoid those types of things but sometimes it turns out to be an absolute need.”

Commissioner Katherlyn Geter seemed to be leaning toward support . . .

“This budget outlines those things that are needed to give them the adequate resources to do their job well, so that, I’m very excited about.”

While others, like Greg Martin, remained unconvinced.

“Money isn’t always the answer to everything. You know, when it comes to the school system or government, money’s not always the answer.”

Commissioner Tim Boyd grilled the superintendent on several items after his presentation.

COPPINGER:
“You could tell by the line of questioning that – you know there’s some – some apprehension and some ways to go about support.”

Commissioners were apparently keeping in mind, how more school funding could impact them….if it did change their property tax statement this year.

MARTIN:
“Well, no one wants to pay more taxes.”

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

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