UnifiEd is hosting a series of meetings where people can get information about the Hamilton County schools budget. (Image: MGNOnline)

Public school advocacy nonprofit UnifiEd is seeking community input and support for an increased Hamilton County School System budget.

The organization’s Fund Hamilton County’s Future campaign aims to provide area residents with information about the school funding and budget process, help them understand the school system’s needs and support advocacy for increased funding, spokeswoman Natalie Cook said. 

Ed Talks 

Click here to see times and places of the Ed Talks. 

The Hamilton County School Board recently approved a balanced budget with a general operating budget of nearly $400 million. Members also requested an additional $24 million and outlined what that money is needed for. 

It’s up to the Hamilton County Commission to decide whether to provide the extra funding. 

“Our work is to organize people to share their voice and influence the change they want to see,” Cook said.

To that end, UnifiEd has organized a series of events called Ed Talks. The meetings will be small group conversations that will take place around the county at coffee shops, recreation centers and bars. 

The daytime events are called Coffee and Convo, and the evening meetings are Beer and Babble. 

“[The goal] is to get people together to have an opportunity to understand the issues around this and for them to exchange their thoughts and perspectives,” Cook said. “We hope people will join, and ultimately we hope that people … will take that [next] step of telling their commissioners what they want.” 

The Ed Talks will continue indefinitely, but the topic of discussion will change, she also said.