Hamilton County School Board Members Likely to Extend Superintendent’s Contract


Despite at least two recent controversies under his tenure, members of the Hamilton County School Board reportedly want to extend Superintendent Bryan Johnson’s contract.

This, according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press, which said board members voted six to two to explore whether to extend Johnson’s contract, which reportedly began two years ago.

Board members did not return The Tennessee Star’s requests for comment Monday.

District 3 Board member Joe Smith is reportedly pushing for the extension.

“Smith said he was worried other districts might come looking to recruit Johnson since the district has already begun to show significant progress under his leadership. Though the original contract language said it did not allow for the board to engage in any conversations about renewing the contract or extending it until 12 months from its expiration date — which is July 2021 — the board’s move Thursday negates that,” according to the newspaper.

“School board attorney Scott Bennett confirmed that with a majority vote the board can hold a work session to discuss the potential for a new contract. Johnson’s current $197,500/year contract lasts for four years, allows him to receive the same yearly salary increases that certified staff might receive and allows for a buyout agreement.”

As The Star reported, under Johnson’s leadership, Hamilton County teachers recently had to sit through ‘white privilege’ training, just as teachers in Williamson County had to do earlier this year.

Among only some of the lessons school Hamilton County School System officials tried to impart to teachers:

• People of color cannot be racist because they lack the institutional power to adversely affect white lives.

• Even if minorities sometimes complain about whites, such complaints serve as coping mechanisms to withstand racism rather than actual anti-white bias.

• Even when minorities express or practice prejudice against whites they are not racists.

Also, as reported, Hamilton County officials recently pushed a plan to raise property taxes 17 percent and use an extra $34 million in revenue to hire 350 more school employees.

School Board member Rhonda Thurman said at the time that many of those proposed positions were unneeded.

Also as The Star reported, Johnson’s wife has taken a $90,000 a year position as a senior advisor to Democratic Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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One Thought to “Hamilton County School Board Members Likely to Extend Superintendent’s Contract”

  1. Rick

    It will get worse, I promise! They would be wise to get a new supt., but being wise and the word education sometimes cannot be used in the same sentence. His leadership has not and will not prove well for Hamilton County.