Rick Smith plans to remain schools superintendent through 2019

Director of local education advocacy group says it's time for new leadership at Hamilton County Department of Education

Attorney Leah Gerbitz, right, speaks to Rick Smith during the meeting of the Hamilton County School Board on Monday, Mar. 7, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The board declined to take action, leaving Rick Smith in place as superintendent.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith said he plans to remain the school system's leader through 2019, when his contract expires.

Smith told the Times Free Press on Tuesday afternoon, before meeting with a group of reporters, that he plans to remain at the helm.

"I plan on staying and won't ask the board to renegotiate a buyout," Smith said over the phone.

The Hamilton County Board of Education voted 5-4 Monday night against a proposed buyout agreement. School board members Steve Highlander, Donna Horn, Karitsa Mosley, Rhonda Thurman and Greg Martin voted against the buyout. Each of them said their constituents did not want Smith to be offered $269,000 to leave his job.

photo Rick Smith listens during the meeting of the Hamilton County School Board on Monday, Mar.