County Commissioner discuss resolution for 11 school board members and partisan elections

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) –During Wednesday’s county commission meeting, commissioners discussed a resolution that would increase the school board from nine to eleven members, as a result of redistricting.

Early Wednesday morning some members of the school board released a statement opposing that resolution. 

“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,” says Tucker McClendon, Board Chairman Tiffanie Robinson, Board Vice-Chair.

According to the county attorney, the Commission only needs the final approval of the state in order  to make redistricting decisions.  The November 1st meeting with the school board was just a courtesy. 

Today’s discussion was focused primarily on the controversial language in the resolution- which would make school elections partisan-language many commissioners opposed.

 “This seems like two separate issues. Am I wrong? One is about districts and the other is about partisanship that’s being state mandated. If that’s the case why are they on the same resolution,” says Commissioner David Sharpe, District 6.

 “Let’s send a message to the people in Nashville and the people in Washington DC that we don’t see a school that advocates partisanships. There are no democratic schools. There are no republican schools. There are simply Hamilton county schools,” says Commissioner Warren Mackey, District 4.

“School board positions should not be partisan positions. They should be people who care about the children, parents , schools and families in this county,” says Commissioner Steve Highlander, District 9.

Further discussion resulted in commissioners requesting that the partisan language be removed from the resolution in order for the rest of it to be supported. 

County commissioners plan to vote on the changes next week.meanwhile the partisanship language has been removed from that resolution.

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