The Hamilton County school district spends a staggering $9,398 per student, according to the Tennessee Department of Education. The district will devour more than $350 million in local, state and federal taxpayers' money this year. Unfortunately, all of those dollars do not always produce well-educated kids.
In 2011, at the elementary school level, black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged and disabled student populations all failed to meet minimum federal benchmarks in reading in Hamilton County public schools, according to TDOE stats. By high school, only 31 percent of black students scored "proficient" or above in reading. Just 45 percent of black high schoolers were considered "proficient" or better in math. As a whole, Hamilton County students scored below the state average in language skills.
The Hamilton County School Board has a responsibility to improve these disheartening numbers.