Here’s a look at the latest news from LaFayette and Walker County:
Walker Co Schools is preparing for the transition to new Saddle Ridge School by terminating teachers. Last Friday administrators called selected teachers into their offices during school hours, read them a script prepared by school attorneys, and then sent them back to finish the school day. Those who heard the spiel will be unemployed come July.
Teachers weren’t dismissed in front of students, but were dismissed during school hours when kids were still at school to limit anyone reacting negatively. Because good teachers don’t get pissed and cause a scene when their students might see it.
Some have asked why we’re firing teachers while building a new school. The simple answer? SPLOST and ELOST sales taxes are both restricted to construction, building, purchasing property. We can build schools, replace roofs, buy school busses, buy police cars – but not pay power bills or salaries. So stop voting for sales tax renewal, it doesn’t accomplish anything.
Not sure whose situation is worse, the teachers soon to be out of work or the remaining teachers facing larger and larger classroom head count next fall.
So far cuts include five teachers at LaFayette Middle, five at Naomi, three at Fairyland, one at LHS, and two cuts plus one retirement without replacement at Chattanooga Valley Elementary. That’s seventeen teaching positions cut at just five schools. Those totals are not complete, just the ones LU has been made aware of. A full count may never be publicly announced – there’s still been no public confirmation of the teacher firing bloodbath covered here last year.
An accident Sunday morning on South Chattanooga Street or Hwy. 337 involved 19 year old Jared Marsh. Marsh, who was by himself, hit a tree. He suffered a broken collarbone and head injuries, was sent to Erlanger.
WQCH Radio, 05/14/13: “LAFAYETTE POLICE SAY MARSH APPARENTLY FELL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL IN THE 11-HUNDRED BLOCK OF CHATTANOOGA STREET. THERE WERE NO SKID MARKS FROM BRAKING, AND THE JEEP CHEROKEE IMPACTED A TREE IN THE FRONT YARD OF A RESIDENCE.
“POLICE SAID FAMILY MEMBERS TOLD THEM MONDAY THAT JARED WAS IN A MEDICALLY-INDUCED COMA. THEY GOT THE CALL AT AROUND 6:40 SUNDAY MORNING.”
Hutcheson’s latest loan, backed up by Walker and Catoosa, will come from Erlanger hospital. That brings the total amount owed to Erlanger (before interest) to $20.55 million. The half-million emergency loan was needed to finish setting up new computer systems.
All together, Hutcheson has over $70 million in debt and growing.
Hutcheson will never be fixed until the hospital gets out from under that massive debt. In this piece, Commissioner Heiskell says Walker County will not back a needed $35 million bond to help the troubled facility pay down debt, because the amount is higher than we can risk.
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