BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward County School Board voted 5-4 Tuesday to approve the mutual separation agreement for Superintendent Robert Runcie that was agreed upon a day prior between Runcie’s attorney and board Chair Rosalind Osgood.
The separation agreement comes to a total of $754,900, and Runcie will remain a district employee until Aug. 10.
The deal includes a 90-day transition period and 20 weeks of severance, including a payout of accrued vacation and sick time, money to his state retirement pension and $25,000 in attorney fees for the separation agreement.
“If we had continued to 2023, which was the first offer of Mr. Runcie’s attorney yesterday, we would have been looking at about $2 million,” Osgood said after the vote. “I feel that we have carried out our fiduciary responsibility as a school board, as well as met all of our legal and contractual obligations to Mr. Runcie.”
The only difference in the agreement is that Runcie’s remainding days as superintendent will be cut short once the school board finds a replacement.
Several board members were hoping to cut Runcie’s 90-day notice to expedite a transition to a new superintendent.
“For me, either the 20 weeks of severance or that would have been OK, but to do both is excessive to me,” School Board member Debra Hixon said.
She believes this is a bad deal for taxpayers in Broward County and that the board gave too much and didn’t get much in return.
“I voted no because I don’t necessarily agree with $80,000 towards the pension and $25,000 for legal fees,” Hixon said.
She added: “We just gave someone almost a million dollars, one person, but we can’t give our employees more than a one percent raise.”
Fellow School Board member Sarah Leonardi said: “It is certainly a generous agreement in terms of separation for the superintendent.”
Prior to the vote, Runcie’s wife spoke before the board, defending her husband’s personal attributes and professional accomplishments.
“His honesty, his integrity, his sheer hard work and love of all things good is second to none,” Diana Runcie said.
The School Board finalized its separation agreement with its general counsel Barbara Myrick last week, agreeing to allow her to leave with 20 weeks of severance pay, totaling $226,349.87. The money includes accrued sick and vacation time, along with Myrick’s pension from the Florida retirement system.
Robert Runcie and Myrick are both facing charges related to communication with witnesses in the pending public corruption case of a former BCPS employee.
They both want the district to pay for their legal defense, and that request was granted for both. But either pleads no contest, guilty or is found guilty, they would have to reimburse the district.
A hearing on Runcie’s motion to dismiss is scheduled for Wednesday.
The district will be accepting applications for interim superintendent until June 1. The board will review them starting June 3 and plan to make a decision on that interim post by June 15.
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Full mutual separation agreement can be viewed below: