School Board votes to increase Superintendent's salary - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

School Board votes to increase Superintendent's salary

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith is getting a raise.

The Hamilton County School Board voted Thursday night to increase Smith's salary by $25,000.

Smith was making $165,000 a year, but on the heels of last month's glowing performance evaluation some members wanted to offer him more.

The new four-year deal comes with a $190,000 salary.

Jeffrey Wilson, Rhonda Thurman, and Dr. Greg Martin voted against the increase, saying they support Smith, but not a salary hike.

"For some people in this community, $25,000 is what they make in a year," Martin said during the meeting, "and it's a hard sell for them."

"Who gets a 14 percent raise on their job in these economic times after two years," he questioned.

Martin pointed out that teachers have not seen a pay increase in nearly eight years. He says insurance is also costing school employees more.

Rhonda Thurman expressed concern over the Affordable Care Act and how it may impact health insurance costs in the future.

"We've proved that paying a superintendent more does not make a better superintendent," said Thurman, referring to the previous administration.

But others say Smith was underpaid to begin with and they worry his salary isn't high enough to keep him in Hamilton County.

"I think we need to make this move to do this now because it's the right thing to do and because excellence should be rewarded," stated Joe Galloway, who proposed the new contract, "and that's the same reason we need to be paying our teachers more."

George Ricks, Mike Evatt, David Testerman, Donna Horn, and Joe Galloway voted in favor of the pay increase.

Dr. Jonathan Welch was not present.

Following the vote, Smith thanked the board and vowed to work with them to increase teacher salaries.



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