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Hamilton Co. School Board approves 2019 school budget, sending it before commission

All but one member of the Hamilton County School Board voted in favor of next year's school budget during a meeting Thursday afternoon. The budget will now go before the county commission. (Image: WTVC)

All but one member of the Hamilton County School Board voted in favor of next year's school budget during a meeting Thursday afternoon. The budget will now go before the county commission.

Earlier this afternoon, we spoke with Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson about what went into the budget.

He told us the budget being presented tonight was really a community-wide effort when it came to identifying priorities.

One such priority? School safety.

Dr. Johnson says the board wants to take a proactive approach to school security rather than a reactive one.

"The social emotional learning of our students and their needs is so critical, so you'll see reflected in our budget a proposed increase in the number of counselors that are readily available to our students to support them," says Dr. Johnson.

This afternoon, Dr. Johnson told us the budget represents a 3-pronged approach to security: safety, security, and support.

In addition to money for more counselors, he says the budget also calls for additional School Resource Officers (SROs) and funds going toward visitor management systems and electronic locking doors.

This meeting of the Hamilton County School Board comes a day before students across the country plan to walk out of class protesting gun laws.

The movement comes on the anniversary of the Columbine School shooting in Colorado, in which 12 students and a teacher were shot and killed.

According to the National School Walkout website, three schools in our are listed as participants:

  • East Hamilton
  • Ooltewah Middle School
  • Marion County High School

Depend on us to keep you posted.

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