Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson speaks during the Hamilton County State of the System address at Howard Connect Academy on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Lots of chatter about local school system guru Dr. Bryan Johnson.

Discussions about extending his contract. Discussions about more teacher pay raises. Discussions about those discussions.

That said, the major line item that led Friday's Times Free Press was Johnson's pitch to give teachers a 2.5% raise.

The funds for the raise — which is half of the 5% proposal that was the original linchpin/Trojan Horse of the tax increase last spring — are from fiscal savings and a bump in revenues in the first half of the school year.

No, I'm not going to remind everyone there was money there for the 5% raise, but the system decided to hire more than 150 new folks.

No, my reminder is this: The teachers — the folks who have daily contact with our kids — are well-worth and well deserving of the raise.

So here's hoping during contract extension talks with Johnson, that 2.5% will be acceptable there, too.


Speaking of common sense

We talked a little bit earlier this week about the Hamilton County attorney's office destroying requests from this paper.

You are either on the side of transparency, which means fighting those who want to block those efforts, or you're for secrecy.

There is no in between.

And while we're here, how much better a solution would it have been for Rheubin Taylor to simply grab the mic and say, "You know what, we dropped the ball on this one and here's why ... ."


Obit observations

There were some big names, locally and nationally, that made the obituaries and headlines this week.

One that caught my eye was Bobbie Alexander, who died Wednesday at the age of 89.

Here's betting it also made the Lord's list.

Check Bobbie's résumé, and notice the following: She spent 40 years as a member and the pianist for the West Side Baptist Church in Natchez, Mississippi, as well as teaching Sunday school and working as the church secretary. After moving to Chickamauga, she was a faithful member and assistant organist at the Victory Baptist Church.

Here's betting St. Peter is going to meet her at the gate and hand her a playlist.

Rest easy.

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Jay Greeson

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