Beleaguered Floyd County Schools superintendent Terry W. Arbogast won’t stay in his job through the end of the year as originally announced but will leave in September three months early.

Arbogast claims his decision to leave early has nothing to do with the escalating controversy over his compensation, which included a series of informal raises from a compliant school board that approved the salary increases informally and without a contract.

But Blue Ridge Muse has learned that one school member pushed for Arbogast to leave early and others have expressed concern privately over his continued tenure amid a scandal that has tainted the school system’s reputation. In a closed session Monday Arbogast was reportedly given the option of announcing an earlier leave date or face a possible vote of no confidence from the board.

“Unfortunately, Dr. Arbogast has become a lightning rod for the controversy over his compensation,” a source within the school administration said. “Rightly or wrongly, his continued presence keeps the controversy on the front burner.”

Some on the school board felt the superintendent should leave in June — shortly after the school term ends — but others felt he should remain until the school board hires a new superintendent.