The Chattanooga City Council spent half of their morning budget hearing hashing out details of one of Mayor Andy Berke's initiatives for this coming year: funding a Baby College.
City Council members wanted to know if the proposed nine-week parenting classes to reach about 85 parents in the coming 2014-2015 budget cycle would duplicate services that already exist. City officials also wanted to know whether Hamilton County was paying their fair share on infant care.
And the questions turned philosophical when Council Chairman Chip Henderson asked if the Baby College could fix deep seated problems in the community, such as infant mortality and low reading scores for children.
That's when Berke's chief policy advisor Stacy Richardson piped in.
"Your question is really complicated," she told Henderson. "Is this the magic bullet? We don't think so. But it's meant to get us in the right direction."
See tomorrow's Times Free Press for complete details.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...