Rick Smith's buyout plan riles Hamilton County school board members

Members of the Hamilton County Board of Education had mixed emotions Thursday night as they discussed a proposed buyout agreement with Superintendent Rick Smith.

The school board's attorney, Scott Bennett, notified the board he and Smith's attorney agreed on a separation agreement that would provide Smith with $269,000 - 35 percent of his contract that was renewed last year to run through July 2019.

If the board votes to accept that buyout on March 7, Smith would leave his job immediately and use accrued vacation days through the beginning of June.

School board member Rhonda Thurman said she is fine with Smith using up his accrued vacation time, but she will not vote to spend taxpayer dollars on a buyout.

"I can't wrap my mind around giving $269,000. If people want to leave, they just need to leave," Thurman said.