The Hamilton County Board of Education spoke out in an emailed statement Wednesday morning about a half-hour before it said the Hamilton County Commission would vote to add two new school board districts to the county's political map.
The letter — signed by board chair Tucker McClendon of East Ridge and board vice-chair Tiffanie Robinson of Chattanooga — said the board had not been notified by the commission about a change to its agenda.
"We were informed Tuesday afternoon that Resolution No: 1121-5A had been materially changed to now commit the Hamilton County School Board to an 11-member school board district. The resolution also mentions the need to move forward due to new legislation in which school board elections may be partisan, but as of this statement that legislation has yet to be signed into law by the governor," the email said.
"We believe the documented record of our wishes, going back to the joint meeting of our two bodies and the Nov. 1 letter board leadership sent the commission, in which we have requested that the Hamilton County Commission defer any redistricting of the Hamilton County Board of Education until after the Board of Education has had the opportunity to discuss this issue in-depth and, perhaps, to formulate its own proposed redistricting map to reflect the needs of the school system's stakeholders."
Board members gave their input on the possibility of expanding to 11 school board districts in an Oct. 26 joint meeting with the commission but have not voted on whether to remain at nine districts or expand to 11.
The commission's updated agenda for today's meeting had yet to be posted online as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.