Letters to the Editor Guide

How to Send a Letter to the Editor

Have a perspective on public education that you want to share with the community? Write a letter to the editor! Here are some guidelines to help get you started.

A few pointers

  • Several letters on the same topic or issue can be a strong indicator to our local policymakers and elected officials, so encourage your friends to share their voice too.
  • State why you’re writing in your first sentence.
  • Effective letters focus more on issues than personal attacks.
  • State what you’re calling for (or demanding, if you feel so bold!). Whether it’s for the school board and county to vote to increase funding, or for the creation of a long-term plan for new school construction and additions, or for a multi-year budget that helps spend our education dollars more efficiently — tell the community or your elected officials what you want to see happen.
  • Keep it focused on one or two key points.
  • If you’re responding to an action or event, respond quickly! Timely comments are the most newsworthy.

Submission guidelines for local publications

Times Free Press

  • Keep it topical, short, legible, and not more often than one every 30 days. Letters may be edited by the Times Free Press for clarity and length.
  • Word count limit is 200 words!
  • Must be signed with name, address and telephone number.
  • Send to: Editorial page editor (either Times or Free Press), P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN 37401; fax: 423-757-6383; or e-mail: letters@timesfreepress.com

Chattanoogan.com

  • The site publishes longer form letters than the newspaper is able to. There is no word limit (but if your article is too long you may lose your reader).
  • Must include your real first and last name and contact information.
  • Email to news@chattanoogan.com.

Topical prompts

The topic of the moment is school funding. Want to share your thoughts on funding with the community? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking on what to write about.

  • Talk about a specific program that is under- or unfunded in your school and the impact to students.
  • Give examples of unacceptable maintenance issues that aren’t being addressed in your school.
  • Explain your perspective on the problem with HCDE not having a multi-year budget.
  • Paint the picture of what you think our community will look like in 30 years if we don’t start investing more in our schools now.
  • Explain why it’s a problem that HCDE and the county don’t have a long-term plan for building new schools or expanding school facilities.
  • Talk about the impact of underfunding technology in schools (not enough devices for each child to have access).
  • Explain what underfunding our schools says to you about our values or actions as a community.
  • Explain what it says to you about our county government that schools are not the top priority in the county budget.
  • Offer your perspective on what students deserve that they aren’t getting due to lack of funds.
  • Anything else that you care about related to funding in our schools!

Need help?

Feel free to contact our communications director, Natalie Cook (423-991-7790, natalie@unifi-ed.org), with any questions or if you need a boost in the writing process! She’s also happy to help you brainstorm a topic or give a proofread if you want it. 

If you submit by email, feel free to copy natalie@unifi-ed.com. She can follow up with the publication to draw attention to your letter.

 

Letter to School Board Chairman Steve Highlander: Where’s the Plan for Superintendent Search?

The following letter was sent to Board of Education Chairman Steve Highlander (copying all members of the Board) on May 5, 2017.

To: Chairman Steve Highlander

CC: Joe Galloway, Karitsa Jones, Kathy Lennon, Tiffanie Robinson, Joe Smith, David Testerman, Rhonda Thurman, Joe Wingate

Dear Chairman Highlander:

UnifiEd calls on the Hamilton County Board of Education for the immediate release of its plan for the school superintendent search and selection process. This call comes after the board’s move this week to trim the list of candidates with input through private email and a decision process based upon criteria that have not been made public.

In the absence of a public plan for the search and selection process, the community is left without a transparent view of the process. It also creates a lack of accountability on the board for its actions.

We call for the restoration of transparency in this process going forward. The community deserves to know how candidates are being evaluated, when decisions will be made, and how they can be involved in this important decision impacting the future of our public schools.

Four recommendations emerged from public meetings UnifiEd held in every district in Hamilton County in 2016 on the topic of the superintendent search. For more than a year, we have called for the following elements to be included in the board’s search and selection plan to ensure community involvement in this important decision:

  • Live streamed public interviews of potential candidates
  • Public access to finalist candidate resumes online
  • Open forums for community members
  • The creation of a community advisory council

At the October 2016 school board meeting, you committed to creating a plan to involve the community in the process and indicated that the search firm’s first task should be the creation of a plan for engaging the community. You also asked that the board’s policy committee draft a plan. To our knowledge, none of these recommendations was implemented.

Now is the time to release your plan for this process that includes a community involvement component. On behalf of our community, UnifiEd looks forward to seeing this position filled by the most qualified candidate after a thorough and transparent search that takes into account perspectives as diverse as our population.

Best regards,

Jonas Barriere
Executive Director, UnifiEd

 

 

Digging in to HCDE’s Proposed Budget Increase

Understanding the schools’ request

Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) presented a general operating budget for the 2017-18 school year to the Board of Education finance committee last Thursday that totaled $397 million, a $33.5 million increase over the current year’s budget.

“Download full details” sample document for each focus area

Let’s dig into how the requested additional funds would be spent if granted. The requests are organized by HCDE’s six areas of strategic focus.

Each section has a link to documents issued by HCDE with more details like:

  • Why these investments?
  • Details on each request
  • Expected outcomes
  • What if these needs are NOT funded?

Strong Foundations: Literacy and Math

Total requested increase: $1,600,000

Additional funds request at a glance:

  • Added literacy support for priority and on-the-cusp schools ($900,000)
  • Expanding innovative and effective math instruction ($100,000)
  • Supporting schools with literacy materials ($500,000)
  • Kindergarten readiness support ($52,000)

See full details >

Engage Every Child. Every Day.

Total requested increase: $8,700,000

Additional funds request at a glance:

  • School technology upgrades and support ($7,600,000)
  • Robotics program continuation and expansion ($63,200)
  • Hands-on science and art pilots ($250,000)
  • Art and eLab teachers ($780,000)

See full details >

Future Ready: Prepare All Students for College & Career

Total requested increase: $1,900,000

Additional funds request at a glance:

  • Core funding for the new Chattanooga Polytechnic Academy ($586,000)
  • Expanding post-graduation options for high school students, including work-based learning and technical credentials for high-demand jobs ($1,300,000)

See full details >

Closing the Opportunity Gap

Total requested increase: $4,000,000

Additional funds request at a glance:

  • Support for our growing English Language Learner population ($677,000)
  • Strategic and differentiated support for priority and cusp schools ($1,500,000)
  • Additional support for student health services ($289,000)
  • Increased supports for students with special needs ($964,000)
  • Charter school enrollment increases ($474,000)
  • Replicate Graduate on Point program at additional schools ($150,000)

See full details >

Great Teachers, Great Leaders

Total requested increase: $14,500,000

Additional funds request at a glance:

  • Cost of living adjustment and step pay increase for all educators ($11,000,000)
  • Strengthening our pipeline to ensure a great leader in every school ($417,000)
  • Additional teaching positions for projected enrollment increases ($1,500,000)
  • Professional learning to support beginning teachers ($1,400,000)
  • Increase capacity to recruit and train top talent ($148,000)

See full details >

Building Our Values: Culture, Climate, and Communication

Total requested increase: $2,800,000

Additional funds request at a glance:

  • School-based telephone support for communication and safety ($500,000)
  • Increase in block grants to allow more site-based decisions ($1,000,000)
  • Increases in custodial and transportation services ($1,300,000)

See full details >

UnifiEd’s take

The requested increase in funds has been tied to expected student outcomes, a first for HCDE and a step UnifiEd has called for as part of the Pact for Public Education. We are very pleased at this big step toward the goal and hope HCDE administration will expand on this approach by tying the full budget to outcomes in the future.

The Pact also calls for a multi-year operating budget. Dr. Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent, told the Board at the April 13 finance committee meeting that he would be presenting a multi-year budget “soon.” We commend the commitment to this Pact goal and look forward to seeing it presented!

Still unaddressed is a long-term plan for building and expanding schools, as well as addressing the massive backlog of maintenance issues. UnifiEd calls for HCDE and the county to work together to create and fund a multi-year capital plan that creates efficiencies and opportunities for equitable access to quality education for every student in Hamilton County.

Take action!

Our school funding campaign hub gives you all the tools to take action in support of increased funding for our schools.

  • “Find your elected officials” feature: Select your neighborhood to see who your school board member, county commissioner, and county mayor are, plus their contact info.
  • Tools to contact your county officials: Download a letter to sign and mail, get a phone script for making a call, or get suggested text for an email.

Visit the campaign hub now >

Finally, turn out to support school funding! The school board will vote on HCDE’s proposed budget on Thursday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. Whether you support HCDE’s proposed budget specifically, or more funding for our schools in general, be there to show the school board that our community values investment in education!

UnifiEd will be there with pizzas and posters to help you share your voice – let’s fund Hamilton County’s future! Board meeting info >

School Guide Video Launch Block Party a Smashing Success!

School Guide Video Launch Block Party a Smashing Success!

Community members who love Hamilton Schools turned out in droves at UnifiEd’s offices last Saturday, April 1 for a block party to celebrate the premier of the first 28 videos in the Public School Guide video series. Updates to every school’s Public School Guide were launched this weekend with 2017 data, and the first round of completed school videos were added to their respective Guides to help tell the unique story of each school beyond stats and test scores. Video production continues across the county, and each school will have their own video showcasing the great things happening in their classrooms over the next year.

“The first generation of our school guides provided information on all Hamilton County public schools including demographics, test scores, and classroom offerings. They did a great job of providing quantitative data, but we know numbers don’t tell the full story of these schools,” says Jonas Barriere, UnifiEd Executive Director. “The video project is a way of telling stories and highlighting achievements in our schools in a way that statistics don’t capture.”

The block party drew approximately 400 teachers, families, students, administrators, school board members, and members of the community to celebrate our schools. “The turnout demonstrated to me that people who are involved in public education are eager to celebrate our schools and the PEOPLE inside them,” says Abby Garrison, Executive Director of video project partner Causeway. The organization granted funds to Katie Smith, a Battle Academy parent, to create a school video series.

“The whole reason we chose Katie as a winner of the Causeway Challenge was because she wanted to tell a story about what’s really happening inside the school’s walls, and all the heart and the innovative programming and the uniqueness of each school.” Garrison adds, “I’ve always thought Chattanooga was a glass half-full kind of city, with an inherent yet gritty optimism. And to me, the video project embodies that.”

The grown-ups at the block party spent time interacting with the Public School Guide on tablets in the office lobby, comparing and contrasting student body make-up, academic achievement, and class offerings among schools. They were encouraged to leave thank-you notes to teachers, share written feedback on posters about what makes a great teacher, and what our students deserve.

The most thought- and discussion-provoking station explained the difference between equality and equity in our schools, and asked attendees to envision equity in our schools. They wrote Post-it note responses to what that would look like for our community and then added their sticky-note voice to an interactive art exhibit spelling out “I love HC Schools” on a wall facing McCallie Ave.

Meanwhile the kids were outside getting their faces painted, decorating giant Jenga blocks, making sidewalk chalk art, playing cornhole, and getting messy with popcorn and ice cream. Many of the students featured in the school videos attended with their families to get a first glimpse at their cinematic debuts.

Explore the Public School Guide here >

Watch the school videos on YouTube here >

 

Event gallery

School Board Recap: Dec. 15, 2016

Prior to the regularly scheduled school board session, the finance committee met to discuss the school budget. Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Purchasing, Christy Jordan, gave a presentation to the board describing in detail where the school system receives funding and how money is being spent across the county. The finance meeting ended with discussions about contract renewals with independently contracted bus drivers and our contract with Durham School Services. The board agreed to hold a work session on Dec. 28 at 3 PM to further discuss all contracted bussing services. 

The regularly scheduled board meeting began with statements from board members and the superintendent regarding Woodmore Elementary. Steve Highlander, Karitsa Jones, and Kirk Kelly all thanked the community for their continued support and praised Woodmore Principal Brenda Adamson-Cothran for her strength and leadership during this tragedy. A moment of silence was held for the 6 children who lost their lives in the bus crash and prayers were shared for all affected families. There will be a Christmas for Woodmore event on Dec. 17 from 12-4 PM which will include fun activities for the community and presents for over 100 students at Woodmore Elementary.

The Loftis Beta Club was recognized for receiving 1st place in the Power of Tower competition, making them state champions two years in a row. They are qualified to go to Disney World in June to compete nationally. The president of HCEA, Dan Liner, approached to board to discuss the importance of implementing the community schools model in Hamilton County and asked the board to add this to their discussion at their upcoming strategic planning work session in January. Kirsten Johnson, the Harrison Elementary PTA president, addressed the board about the dilapidating conditions at Harrison Elementary. She described hazardous conditions including sewage backup, faulty heating systems, chipping lead paint, and lack of space for classroom activities. District 4 board member, Tiffanie Robinson, agreed to host a work session to prioritize facility repairs, and student board member, D’Andre Anderson, applauded the teachers at Harrison Elementary for continuing to be exemplary educators despite their working conditions.

All items on the agenda were approved which included a vote on the selected calendar for SY 2017-18, the second and final reading of Board Policy 5.305, and the renaming of the PALS Center. Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly walked the school board through the updated TN Report Card available on tn.gov and discussed the iZone plan the school system has begun to implement in the 5 priority schools across Hamilton County. The iZone plan includes strategies such as: increased truancy officers, additional bussing options, a PATHS program to improve college and career readiness through literacy, ACT bootcamp, a WAY program for students who don’t fit into the regular school day, a new mentoring program for new teaches, community school expansion, principal coaches, and a new principals network.

The meeting closed with a discussion about municipalities wanting to breakaway from the Hamilton County school district. Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Lee McDade, has met with one of the municipalities and has offered assistance in investigating the breakaway. Many board members voiced that they believe our system is stronger together and that we should all work to support an informed decision.

The next agenda session will be on January 12th at 5 PM. There will be a work session prior to the meeting at 4 PM to discuss the superintendent selection process with Coleman Lew and Associates.

 

School Board Watch Blog: November 17, 2016

In this edition of UnifiEd’s School Board Watch Blog, we will take a look at the agenda for the November 17th regularly scheduled session of the Hamilton County School Board Meeting. The meeting will be held in the Hamilton County School Board Meeting Room at 3074 Hickory Valley Road and is set to begin at 5:30 PM. We will live tweet @UnifiEdHC, follow along at #HCSchools.

To see the entire agenda with supporting documents click here.

Hot Topics:

  • First Reading of Board Policy 5.305 – Family and Medical Leave: Provisions are being added to the Family and Medical Leave policy that states an employee may submit any form of medical documentation to Human Resources to have leave authorized under FMLA. In addition, the School District is able to designate leave as FMLA under their discretion if they feel adequate medical documentation or information was provided to the District. This policy change provides an important area of clarification for the system regarding medical documentation.

Field Trips

  • CSAS Upper and Hixson High School will participate in band and orchestra related field trips.
  • Brainerd High School, Hixson High School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, Central High School, East Hamilton School, Red Bank High School, and Sale Creek Middle High  will participate in sports related field trips.
  • CSLA will participate in a travel related field trip.
  • Hixson High will participate in a college and leadership related field trip.
  • Signal Mountain Middle High School, Lookout Valley Middle High School, and Sale Creek High will participate in Model UN or Youth in Government related field trips.
  • East Ridge High School, Ooltewah High School, and Sequoyah High School will participate in competitive Hot Rodding and JROTC related field trips.
  • Brown Middle School will participate in an American government related field trip.

Bids:

  • Approval sought to purchase restroom panels for Washington Alternative School in the amount of $15,665 from Service Systems.
  • Approval sought for Brainerd High School to contract with Reading Plus for a total of $2,166 from their Title I budget.
  • Approval sought for Sequoyah High School to contract with Reading Plus for a total of $5,500 from their Title I budget.
  • Approval sought to amend contract with Stellar Therapy Services, LLC for nursing services reimbursement for HCDE. The reimbursement is for Medicaid eligible students through Stellar Therapy.

Conferences and Consultants:

  • Approval sought from the Principal at Orchard Knob Elementary for the consultant agreement with Jessica Kaminski for a total of $9,600.00 from the iZone Federal budget. The consultancy will work on professional development for teachers aimed at increasing student achievement in literacy.

Financial Report

  • Presentation of the monthly financial report comparing actual year-to-date expenditures to the original adopted budget and the year-to-date amended budget from up to September 2016.

Budget Amendments

The following budget amendments for Self-Funded Programs for FY2017 are recommended for School Board approval:

  • Therapy Services Self-Funded Program, with a net increase of $300,000
  • Character Education Self-Funded Program, with a net increase of $26,482
  • Photography Self-Funded Program, totaling $400,000
  • Ochs-Oakes Self-Funded Program, totaling $2,250

First Reading of Board Policy

  • Board Policy 5.305 – Family and Medical Leave: Provisions are being added to the Family and Medical Leave policy that states an employee may submit any form of medical documentation to Human Resources to have leave authorized under FMLA. In addition, the School District is able to designate leave as FMLA under their discretion if they feel adequate medical documentation or information was provided to the District. This policy change provides an important area of clarification for the system regarding medical documentation.

Administrative and Business Matters

  • Dr. Lee McDade will recommend the approval of the 2016-2017 Local Education Agency (LEA) Compliance Report. The TN Department of Education requires that local school boards certify that they are in compliance with TN and State Board of Education rules and regulations. The compliance report was reviewed by HCDE staff.
  • Justin Witt will address the school board to recommend approval of a request by Crown Castle to extend our current lease agreements for cell towers at Orchard Knob Middle School, CCA, and Central High School. The current agreement regarding cell towers will expire in 2023 and the base rental fee is $1,064.00. After discussing different options HCDE mutually agreed to extend the lease to 2043 with a new base rental fee of $1,500.00. The new rate will increase by 2% annually.

Important Dates and Events

  • December 8th, 2016: Board Agenda Work Session at 5:00pm in the Board Room
  • December 15th, 2016: Quarterly Session Board Meeting at 5:00pm in the Board Room
  • December 16th, 2016: Last day of Classes
  • December 19th-30th 2016: Winter Break

HCDE Budget for 2017

In April, the School Board approved the 2017 Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) Budget. The new budget proposes an increase in school spending by $33,793,866 requesting a total of $385,051,862 for Hamilton County public schools. This year, our school system budget is linked to student outcomes focused on system wide priorities including: workforce readiness, improved literacy, and a renewed focus on priority schools. We applaud the school system for dedicating time, resources, and money towards ensuring there are highly effective teachers in the classrooms of our most vulnerable students.

 

FY 2017 Budget Overview

Base Budget Starting Point:                       $351,257,996

Budget for Strategic Focus Areas:             $  33,793,866

Total Requested Budget for FY 2017:       $385,051,862

 

 

 


Workforce Readiness Priorities: In Hamilton County, 94% of students with Career/Technical Education (CTE) concentrations matriculate to postsecondary placements related to their concentration. Currently, 1 in 30 (3%) students complete a certificate. In 3 years, Hamilton County would like to see 1 in 7 (14%) students complete a certificate.

Budget Allocation: $19,166,917


Literacy Across the Curriculum Priorities: In 2015, 45% of our students were reading on grade level. In 3 years, HCDE would like to see 60% of students reading on grade level. In 2015, the average ACT Composite Score was 19. In three years, HCDE hopes the average ACT score moves up to 21 enabling students to qualify for the HOPE Scholarship.

 

         Budget Allocation: $7,205,059


Priority School Focus: HCDE wants to put more focus on priority schools in our county by: extending support beyond iZone schools to all schools near priority status, increase instructional supports tailored to specific priority schools and student populations, strategically recruit and retain highly effective teachers and leaders in priority schools, increase support for the growing English Language Learners (ELL) population, and build connections for students and families to basic medical care through telemedicine and clinic-in-schools program.  

Budget Allocation: $5,713,080


System Wide Priorities: HCDE is requesting an increase in the Capital Maintenance Budget for building repairs and maintenance, contractual increases for transportation plus 2 additional buses and the remaining cost of 4 buses bought last year, and the increase in utilities to pay for increased electricity and water/sewer rates.

Budget Allocations: $1,708,810

 

Hamilton County is at a crossroads for change and the Hamilton County Department of Education is taking a step in the right direction with this year’s school budget by aligning dollars spent with student outcome goals. The Department of Education will present the budget to County Commission for final approval in May. Stay tuned for more information.   

 

 

Now is the Time for New Leadership

The time to act is now.

On March 7th, the School Board voted against buying out Superintendent Rick Smith’s contract; the next day, Smith announced his plan to remain in his current role until the end of his contract in 2019. It is time for new leadership. The School Board needs to remove him or he needs to resign. 

We cannot afford to have a school system that fails students, their parents, and this community. Any promise of progress will be an empty one under current leadership. The decline in student performance, the failure to comply with state law in policies to protect students from hazing and bullying, and the silence in response to the tragic assault of an Ooltewah High School student makes the case for new leadership very clear. Now is the time to act and demand a change in leadership.

What can you do?

1. Contact your School Board member and let them know you want them to revisit their decision concerning Superintendent Smith, and advocate for the termination of his contract. Click here to send an email to your School Board members; you can use our form or craft your own message. If you prefer to call, dial 423-217-4400 and select the number that corresponds to your district’s representative.

2. Attend the next School Board Meeting scheduled for March 17th at 5:30pm at the Department of Education (3074 Hickory Valley Road).

3. Join us for a community conversation to talk about the current leadership of Hamilton County schools. Check our schedule for upcoming conversations and let us know what you want to see in new leadership.

 

UnifiEd Calls for Change in Bullying & Harassment Policy

UnifiEd and our Student Voice Team is calling for the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to immediately comply with state law mandating an adequate bullying and harassment policy and to launch an independent investigation of all policies and procedures related to bullying. We need you to contact your local School Board members in support of policy changes that will ensure the safety of all students in Hamilton County.

Show your support in these three ways: 

1. Contact your local School Board member to let them know you want HCDE’s bullying and harassment policy to comply with state law and for the School Board to launch an independent investigation of all policies and procedures related to bullying. Write a letter, send an email, or make a phone call and let them know this issue is important to you. Find out who your local school board member is HERE. Find contact information for your local School Board member HERE.

2. Attend the School Board Work Session this Thursday, January 14 at 5pm at the Hamilton County Department of Education (3074 Hickory Valley Rd). The meeting will include an agenda session, a policy committee meeting to look at policies and procedures concerning bullying/harassment/field trips/athletics, and a public forum allowing community members to address the board with questions and concerns about the Ooltewah incident.

3. Attend the regularly scheduled School Board Meeting next Thursday, January 21 at 5pm at the Hamilton County Department of Education (3074 Hickory Valley Rd). Join us in supporting our Student Voice Team as they present their findings concerning bullying and harassment in our public schools.

UnifiEd’s Student Voice Team has worked with over 100 students from 16 different schools in Hamilton County to advocate for policy change within public schools. We all agree bullying and harassment is one of the most pressing issues facing students today. Our team has been working since last year to bring attention to bullying and discrimination in schools. We learned that the current HCDE Policy 6.304 regarding Student Discrimination/Harassment/Hazing and Bullying/Intimidation does not comply with state law (Tenn. Code Ann. 49-6-4503). The Student Voice Team’s review of HCDE’s policy suggests that 5 of the 13 required provisions are missing or inadequate:

  • A procedure for anonymous reporting
  • A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation against a person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber bullying
  • A description of the type of behavior expected from each student
  • A procedure for discouraging and reporting conduct aimed at defining a student in a sexual manner or conduct impugning the character of a student based on allegations of sexual promiscuity
  • A statement of the manner in which a school district shall respond after an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying is reported, investigated, and confirmed

Having procedures in place that support anonymous reporting is essential to ensuring the safety of all students. The School Board needs to work with students to create a centralized method of reporting that empowers students to be honest about what’s going on in our schools and provide support for victims. While school administrators cannot base disciplinary action on anonymous reports, they are useful in tracking and responding to problems associated with harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

UnifiEd’s Student Voice Team is currently working with students across the county to create a policy draft they believe will best serve students and address the issue of increased bullying and harassment in public schools. We know this is not just about one incident or one school and we are dedicated to making policy changes that will benefit all students in Hamilton County. Now is the time to do your part!

If you have any questions regarding our Bullying and Harassment Campaign, please contact one of our student organizers via email: info@unifi-ed.org.

Check out these news stories highlighting the importance of bullying/harassment policy reform:

News Channel 9: Making Hamilton County’s Anti-Bullying/Hazing Policies Conform with State Underway

News Channel 3: New Anonymous Reporting System For Bullying in Hamilton County Schools 

News Channel 12: Group Says Hamilton County Schools Are Not In Compliance With Bullying Laws

#GivingTuesday with UnifiEd

Get into the spirit of generosity this holiday season and join us for #CHAgives on December 1st, our city’s first year participating in the global giving event, #GivingTuesday! UnifiEd is excited to be apart of this philanthropic global movement celebrating generosity and community service. Since its founding in 2012, #GivingTuesday has partnered with 68 countries to raised over 87.2 million dollars for nonprofits, community initiatives, organizations, and more.

On the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a day for charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world to come together to give through social media and collaboration. It is a day that connects communities and encourages individuals to take action, empower those around them, and create lasting, positive change.

Causeway and United Way of Greater Chattanooga have partnered to promote #GivingTuesday in Chattanooga for the first time through their #Chagives campaign. Everyone in our city is encouraged to donate to local charities, nonprofits, organizations, and other social causes to make our city the best it can be. Chattanooga has set a goal of reaching 30,000 volunteers and donors to give to local efforts.

UnifiEd is asking for your help on December 1st! By donating to our cause, you are supporting our work in making education the best it can be in Hamilton County. Every great city needs citizens who are knowledgeable, innovative, and engaged, and an education system that supports the success of its people.

UnifiEd is a community led movement of parents, students, teachers, and citizens who want every child to have the chance to attend great public schools. Over the past year we have launched a student voice team, a teacher fellowship program, and our Pact for Public Education which has engaged thousands of Hamilton County residents to form a strong coalition dedicated to public education advocacy work. Please donate here to help ensure every child in Hamilton County has a brilliant future.