Hamilton County school board candidate Gary Patterson says teachers aren't being supported with enough equipment and supplies to meet the education needs of students.
If elected to the District 6 seat on the Hamilton County Board of Education, Mr. Patterson, 62, said he plans to get more books and tools in the hands of teachers. Joe Galloway also is running for the seat, which represents seven schools. Longtime District 6 school board member Janice Boydston is not running this year.
"If we force students to go to school, we should furnish some of that stuff, especially for those who are deprived," Mr. Patterson said. "Why can't the school board come up with some money for that?"
Mr. Patterson, who first ran for a position on the school board 20 years ago and lost, said he began thinking about running for the post again when he retired this year and had more time for public service.
He had worked as a mechanic, servicing heavy equipment owned by Hamilton County.
He said his three grandchildren -- the oldest of which just finished kindergarten -- remind him of how important education is.
Being a part of the school board would allow him to make a position impact on the growth and learning of children in his community, he said.
"I love watching my grandchildren grow, although I would love to keep them a certain age," he said. His grandchildren's ages are 6, 5 and 4.
Nina G. Baughn, a North Chattanooga resident who lives in the same neighborhood as Mr. Patterson, said that if he is elected, she knows Mr. Patterson would be dedicated to the schools in their community.
"He lives in this area and his thoughts would be here," she said. "I trust the man. I think he would be honest and upright, and I think he would be a good representative."
School board members serve four-year terms. The election is Aug. 5.
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