Chattanooga City Council approves creation of Department of Early Learning

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Karitsa Jones discusses the city's early learning initiative on Feb. 4, 2020.

The Chattanooga City Council unanimously approved the creation of the municipality's Department of Early Learning, a key priority of Mayor Tim Kelly's administration.

Council members also unanimously approved the department's administrator, Karitsa Jones, who will oversee the effort meant to improve access to pre-K educational opportunities and guide the city's children toward successful academic futures.

"What we know is that healthy starts in life will let you be productive citizens in the long run," Jones said after the council's Tuesday meeting. "So what's a city without productive citizens, what's a city without a future?"

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Jones' salary will be $133,900. Her previous salary as head of the city's Community Forward Schools Partnership was $87,510.