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'Pretty Big Pay Package': Broward School Board Negotiates $743K Exit Deal For Embattled Supt. Robert Runcie

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward County School District has negotiated a proposed separation agreement for embattled Superintendent Robert Runcie.

After meeting virtually with Runcie's lawyer for several hours on Monday, both sides agreed to a package that totals some $743,000.

It would include 90 days salary, 20 weeks' severance, accrued sick and vacation time, medical and dental benefits, a maximum of $25,000 in legal fees for the exit negotiations, and $80,000 for the state retirement system.

The deal is contingent on Runcie successfully fighting the perjury charge against him.

Also, the legal fees for the indictment are not included in the $743,000. That will be separate, and the amount has yet to be determined.

"It's very important that the takeaway not be we are giving all this money to Mr. Runcie, because that's not accurate," said Dr. Rosalind Osgood who is the board chair and lead person from the board on the negotiations.

"There are certain expenses that are due like benefits, health care providers that we have an obligation to pay to those entities," she said.

Runcie offered to resign in late April after a grand jury investigating the circumstances surrounding the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School indicted him on a perjury charge. He was accused of lying to a grand jury investigating how districts spend money on safety issues.  The grand jury was formed after the Parkland tragedy.

Broward School Board member Debbi Hixon said they want the contract to be fair, but they also want to be mindful of the taxpayers.

"There was already an agreement with the school board that was done back in 2017," Hixon explained. "That leaves a lot of this not to be negotiated. It is part of his contract."

She acknowledges it's a large sum, but says they need to keep it in perspective of the position.

"This is the person that's in charge of the seventh largest school district in the United States, so with that comes a lot of responsibility, and with responsibility, comes a pretty big pay package," she said.

While she was not part of the board when members voted on his contract in 2017, she said she understands why it was written that way.

"They were trying to bring our superintendent's pay package up to an equal or equivalent pay package that Dade County and Palm Beach were giving," she says.

Now, she said they are ready to come to a conclusion so the district can move forward to appoint an interim superintendent and eventually find someone new for the position.

Runcie has overseen the district, which is actually the nation's sixth largest public school district with more than 270,000 students, for nearly 10 years.  He has weathered criticism of his handling of school safety both before the tragedy and afterwards. He has vowed he would be vindicated of the perjury charge that grand jurors leveled against him on April 21.

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