The Hamilton County Department of Education runs the public school system.
Board of Education
The Hamilton County Board of Education is a legislative and policy-making body that manages and controls the public school system.
The board consists of nine elected representatives. Board members are elected from the districts they represent. The districts coincide with the Hamilton County Commission.
Members serve staggered four-year terms — approximately half of the board is elected every two years — and they are not term-limited. School board elections are nonpartisan.
The school board has four main responsibilities: hire a superintendent; make personnel and infrastructure decisions; submit an operating budget to the Hamilton County Commission; and provide for student enrollment.
The superintendent heads the Hamilton County Department of Education and is appointed by the Board of Education. He is responsible for executing federal, state and local education policies in the county school system.
Rick Smith was named HCDE's superintendent in 2011.
The superintendent is not a voting member of the school board, but he and the department works closely with it to draft local education policies. He serves on the executive committee, along with the board chairman, and keeps members updated on issues in local schools and the school system.
The superintendent supervises local public schools, oversees personnel, prepares HCDE's annual budget and makes regular reports to school board members and state officials.