Unified School Board discusses Supt. Cash contract buyout

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Word of a buyout for Memphis City Schools Superintendent Doctor Kriner Cash's contract brought a meeting about his future to a halt Monday night.

Dr. Kriner Cash has been in talks with certain district leaders about a buyout for the last six months. It now appears the district is close to taking action.

The special called meeting of the Unified School Board was very revealing. We now know Dr. Kriner Cash started having conversations about the district buying him out of his contract in December.

That's because board chairman Billy Orgel says the first discussion and those that followed have all been informal and started during a meeting of what he called the executive committee that meets to go over the agenda before each full board meeting. Board attorney Dorsey Hopson was also there.

"We were clear with the lawyer, and the lawyer understood that these were informal discussions, and that if there was agreement about the parameters of a buyout we would take it back to the board," MCS Attorney Dorsey Hopson said.

Board members expressed concern that the conversation has gone on for the last six months without it being discussed in public. Orgel says there hasn't been anything specific to discuss until now. Other board members took it further and said this is the first time they've heard of a potential buyout, which Orgel says isn't true, that the board attorney has made the members aware on a one on one basis.

"If you are in favor of adjourning to an executive session raise your hand," Orgel requested.

After an executive session, the meeting was over with the decision made to pick the conversation back up Tuesday the 19th. Though, during that meeting, the non-renewal of Shelby County superintendent John Aitken will also be on the agenda.

At the advice of his attorney, Dr. Cash was not at Monday's meeting.

Cash's contract expires in 2013, the same year Memphis City and Shelby County schools are scheduled to merge. 

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