Broward superintendent readies to go back to school

Robert Runcie says district ready for school to start again

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Robert Runcie, the superintendent of the Broward County Public Schools district, said Thursday that the first days of classes should be less chaotic than last year.

"Some students are ready to come back -- some aren't -- but I will tell you that everyone in the district is prepared. We're going to put our best foot forward," said Runcie.

Back to School

The first days of school had problems last year when there weren't enough school bus drivers and some didn't know their routes.

"We want to make sure we have sufficient bus operators," he said. "Number two: We want to make sure we improve our routing process -- our logistics and routing, which is pretty central to what we do -- so we hired a new routing manager, we got new routing software that we put in and upgraded."

The Broward County Schools District -- which has 260,000 students, 14,000 teachers, and 30,000 support staff -- lost money for capital improvements when property values fell and the school millage dropped.

"Our capital program is an enormous concern for us because that's how we fund technology, that's how we fund band equipment, sports equipment," said Runcie.

The good news -- 27 elementary schools in the district received 3,200 laptops and tablets. Teachers underwent training Wednesday.

"My goal is to create a great future for Broward County," said Runcie. "I think as we move into the 21st century, we are well positioned to be if not the best school system in the country [but] the world."

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