published Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Buyout approved; Jim Scales leaving June 10

by Adam Crisp

Hamilton County school board members voted 6 to 3 this afternoon to buy out Superintendent Jim Scales’ contract.

The board is also set to discuss an interim replacement tonight.

Scales last day at the central office will be June 10, but he will remain on the payroll until June 30. That’s when he becomes vested in the Tennessee teacher retirement system.

The school system will write him a check for $202,000 for his base pay, plus $62,981 for his accrued vacation time and $16,200 for his sick time, and they will continue to pay his medical benefits through 2011.

Scales has said previously that contract buyout talks had been ongoing since February. He announced that he had agreed to the terms of the buyout May 10. State law requires 15 days’ notice before the board can vote on buyout.

In addition to his base salary and leave reimbursement, Scales will receive $18,000 annually in retirement and the board will repay him for attorney’s fees related to the buyout negotiations. The fees and insurance could be worth up to $20,000.

Board members Mike Evatt, Everett Fairchild, Joe Galloway, Linda Mosley, David Testerman and Rhonda Thurman voted for the buyout. Chip Baker, Jeffrey Wilson and George Ricks voted against the measure.

Contact staff writer Adam Crisp at or 423-757-6323. Follow him online: and

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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Beamis said...

It's a great deal being a big time tax sucking educrat.

May 26, 2011 at 7:18 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

Awesome. I have colleagues who have been told that thanks to increasing enrollment and declining budgets, they will only be able to issue a class set of books next year... but certain geniuses on the school board can pull close to $300,000 out of the sky to keep their pet Rick Smith. And thanks to Bill Haslam, these people will be the ones having final say on all local educational decisions.

May 26, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.
Winner said...

Yes... Rhonda Thurman is an idiot and a HUGE threat to our school system.

May 26, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.
Oz said...

Harry Reynolds, Jesse Register, and Jim Scales. Are our schools in better shape since these three men spent time at the helm? They definitely increased the enrollment in area private schools and the number of professors teaching remedial college classes.

May 26, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.
rosebud said...

Rhonda NEVER gave Scales a satisfactory review. She was referring to the Board as a whole. They gave him "average" marks for years. Hopefully we can now do better than average. But not without another droning editorial attack from Harry Austin, coming this weekend!

May 27, 2011 at 7:33 a.m.
chet123 said...


June 1, 2011 at 9:34 p.m.
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