School board members explain what is next after budget fails

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Hamilton County School board members react and explain what’s next after commissioners rejected their budget.

It is back to the drawing board for Hamilton County school board members and the superintendent.

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Some school board members, like Rhonda Thurman, were not shocked about the vote.

“I already talked to at least five of the commissioners and I knew how they were going to vote. So I was not surprised. As a matter of fact I was not surprised at all, because the night the school board passed the vote I told them we would be getting it back, so I wasn’t surprised,” Thurman said.

School board member, Joe Smith, was disappointed.



“That budget was based on the needs of 44,000 students all across Hamilton County and I just felt like it was something that needed to happen. So obviously very disappointed, but ready to move forward,” Smith said.

The budget would have required a 34 cent property tax increase. In a 5-4 vote, commissioners showed they were against it.

Kevin Aslinger, a teacher in the district, was upset with the outcome.

“It just shows ones again what Hamilton County’s priorities are in anything except taking care of their schools and their kids. It is a real shame. And they act like these are new problems. This is the same we have been dealing with for years and this is the first time we have had a real plan to fix things, progressive plan to move us forward and they don’t want to pay for it. It is a shame,” Aslinger said.

School board members are going to figure out a plan.

“We will have to make some very hard decisions about what is going to have to disappear and go away and again none of those things are things we didn’t need. So it is going to take a lot of hard work because what we are going to need to do is go back to our mayor and county commission with a budget that is balanced based on the revenue we are going to have available to us. There are going to be some difficult days ahead,” Smith said.

Hamilton County Commissioners will have to pass the school’s budget by the end of August.