Hamilton County’s redistricting and its potential impact on school board
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – There is a current proposal to redistrict Hamilton County from nine to 11 districts. There are also currently nine school board members, which could stay nine but board lines changed or could be increased to 11.
“I like staying with nine districts but I’m sympathetic with you because you have so many schools in your district and I understand that to be a problem but we’re going to have to redo the nine districts anyway for school bored so that could be fixed in that process,” said Rhonda Thurman, School Board Member.
According to lawyers, if it were to change to 11 there are a few legal complications where a school board can’t switch from nine without general assembly approval.
“You can have any number between three and 11. The number that you got that’s what you had on January 1 of 93 and if you want to change it in the General assembly can do so by private act,” said Scott Bennett, School Board Attorney.
“It would probably require some legislative action to either amend or repeal the current private act that was enacted in 1992,”
School board member Tucker McClendon said changing the number of board members could impact the superintendent pool.
Knowing how much school board members rely on their superintendent and how much pressure they put on them so to more people that’s a little bit of a concern on what it’s going to do to our candidate pool,” said Nathaniel Foster, Assistant Administrator of Elections.
The commissioner decides on the number of board members, not the school board, but the commissioners will listen to the boards’ input.
The earliest the county commissioners can vote on the changes is November 2.