published Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Hamilton schools project $10.7 million shortfall


by Dan Whisenhunt
  • photo
    Jim Scales speaks to a meeting of the NAACP on Tuesday evening at the Glenwood Recreation Center. He discussed the school district's report card and some future plans, and answered questions from the audience.
    Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press

The Hamilton County Schools system is projecting a $10.7 million shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year, budget director Christie Jordan told school board members this afternoon.

In a presentation to the budget and finance committee, Jordan and Superintendent Jim Scales said school officials will meet with Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander in the morning to discuss a decline in property tax collections.

Jordan told board members revenues were down $1.5 million from last year and are on track to decline by $5.7 million overall.

“We don’t know what the answers are yet,” Scales said.

If the revenue projections hold, it could mean deep cuts for school system employees and programs.

Jordan presented committee members with a menu of possible cuts, including increasing insurance costs for dependent coverage by $50-$100 a month, closing one to three schools and reducing the school maintenance budget.

“None of these are easy choices,” Jordan said.

For complete coverage, see Friday’s Times Free Press.

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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