- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Despite protesting parents, Hamilton County officials approved a recommendation to omit two proposed school projects.

Parents with students at the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts spent days in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse petitioning for funding to build a new school.

School Superintendent Rick Smith included the facility on a six-item list of proposed projects, but Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger recommended funding only four items. His budget proposal left out the new building for the arts school and a new middle school in the East Hamilton area.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1h08TOV) reports County Commission Chairman Fred Skillern said at Wednesday’s meeting that there just wasn’t enough funding for all the projects.

“We did what we could with the amount of money we had available. Lord only knows, if we had $50 million (more) I would have made a different decision, and chose different combinations,” Skillern said.

Parents at schools where funding was approved were pleased with the vote.

CSLA parent Jessica Thomas said she hopes the arts school will eventually get funding for a new building.

“One of our goals this past week was to open up the lines of communication. We’d like to continue that,” she said. “Moving forward, we want to have these conversations.”

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com