Broward School Board reaches vote on Runcie’s exit
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – The Broward County School Board has reached a decision regarding Broward County Public School Superintendent Robert Runcie’s exit plan.
On Tuesday afternoon, the board agreed to Runcie’s terms to vacate his position in a 5-4 vote.
The agreement was put together by Runcie’s attorney and Broward County School Board Chairwoman Dr. Rosalind Osgood. Talks began on the agreement following Runcie’s arrest in April for allegedly lying to a grand jury.
The $743,052 offer as part of the separation agreement was approved with the decision. Originally, Runcie wanted $400,000 added to his Florida retirement account. However, Osgood agreed to $80,000.
The figure includes over $145,000 in severance pay, over $233,000 in vacation and sick time plus over $187,000 in payments into his retirement account.
“We were able to be fair to the district, be fair to an employee that’s transitioning,” Osgood said.
After his arrest, board member Lori Alhadeff, who lost her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, in the Parkland shooting, called for Runcie to resign for the second time. This time, he did not resist.
“If it’s going to give you peace and it’s going to give you and those other parents who remain angry, because I don’t see how there’s anything else I can do, if it’s going to give you that, I will step aside,” Runcie said.
School Board Member Debra Hixon, who lost her husband, Chris Hixon, in the Parkland shooting, explained her vote against the mutual agreement.
“I voted no because I don’t necessarily agree with the $80,000 towards the pension,” Hixon said. “I just felt like there was too many asks, and it was excessive to me.”
“I did not agree to the agreement, but I was in the minority,” School Board Member Sarah Leonardi said. “It is certainly a generous agreement in terms of separation for the superintendent.”
Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Diana Runcie, the superintendent’s wife, said the Parkland shooting shook him to the core, just as it did so many others.
“I saw him come home the night of that tragedy and cry himself to sleep saying, ‘I can’t believe he killed my babies,’” she said. “I saw him stay up well past midnight writing handwritten notes to every person in that district impacted by the tragedy.”
Once an interim superintendent is named, Runcie will transition from his superintendent position to consultant.
“Choosing an interim with expediency and doing a national search and bringing someone in the district who can lift us up from out of this,” Leonardi said.
An interim superintendent can be named as soon as Tuesday afternoon.
Runcie will be arraigned on the perjury charge on Wednesday. His last day on the job will be Aug. 10.