Hamilton County School Board approves superintendent’s contract, teacher raises

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – There was a standing ovation at the Hamilton County School Board meeting Thursday night after board members approved the early renewal of Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson’s contract.

“He has the vision, smarts, leadership skills, work ethic, curiosity and selflessness to lead a staff of 6,000 people to achieve more than they ever thought possible,’ School Board Member Jenny Hill said.

Johnson’s base pay goes from $222,000 to $240,000 in the new contract.

Two board members voted against the contract renewal.

Rhonda Thurman and Dr. Steve Highlander wanted to put off the vote.

“I’m fully in agreement with discussing this very same discussion in September. I think that would be in line with the agreement of the contract,” Dr. Highlander said.

The board also unanimously approved allocating money to a 2.5 percent pay raise for teachers, certified and classified staff.

“We’re being proactive and I think that it’s helping us and by being proactive were being able to utilize the budget the best way possible. So there is actually, we have a surplus,” School Board Member Kathy Lennon said.

Dr. Johnson said it’s a result of the school system operating more like a business.

“When your revenue is up, you have no better place to share that than the employees. So here’s the reality, 81 plus percentage of our budget is people. So we need to be investing in our people,” Dr. Johnson said.

Last year, the superintendent did propose a teacher pay raise in a budget turned down by the county commission.

They ended up giving bonuses instead.

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News

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