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  • Raquetta Dotley

Always in the Business of Education: Head Start

"As City Councilwoman, I will lead and support policy that pushes for more investment in our Early Learning and Head Start programs. We have to build stronger communities from an early age, and investment in our next generation of Chattanoogans is the only place to start."

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Over the years I have heard city leaders and officials consistently say that Chattanooga is not in the education business. This comment and others like it refer to the official merger of the Chattanooga Public School and Hamilton County School systems that was voted on in 1994 and implemented in 1997. Education is key to a thriving society, and that is why investment into Head Start/Early Head Start and other early learning programs should be top priority. Investing into these programs gives Chattanooga the opportunity to invest into the next generation of community leaders, business owners, and so much more.


Although Head Start and early learning should be a priority, it is not. The current budget speaks to how much we want to invest in the next generation of Chattanoogans. Currently there are four Head Start locations, with only three of them being located in Chattanooga. Students are being educated in aging buildings that are “experiencing regular systems failures.”A facilities review noted over $10 million dollars in renovations and repairs that needed to be completed. In addition, the staff of those centers who handle our most precious assets are not compensated in a manner that reflects that life-changing work that they do everyday.


As City Councilwoman, I will lead and support policy that pushes for more investment in our Early Learning and Head Start programs. We have to build stronger communities from an early age, and investment in our next generation of Chattanoogans is the only place to start.


Resources:

Head Start

Capital Budget

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