Principal Retires And Is Back, All In A Month

 BY BUDDY NEVINS

Attention teachers, school staff and legislators: Broward Schools are at it again.

Bob Crawford, who recently retired as principal of Atlantic Technical Center, is on Tuesday’s School Board agenda to be rehired.for the same job he just left.

A School Board member says candidly: “It doesn’t look good.

That’s an understatement.

Crawford’s new salary is $108,529. 

Because he is “retired,” he also gets a pension.  He received a big hunk of cash from the state DROP program when he “retired,” according to sources.

(Deferred Retirement Option Program or DROP pays large sums of money into a 401K-like retirement account in return for a promise to retire in five years. After five years, you get the money.)

“He got a pension and a lot of money from DROP and 30 days later, turns around and gets his old job back, said a source with 20 years in the system. “I hear he didn’t even clean out of his desk.  He just took a long vacation.

The administration’s excuse is that they need to pay a principal to replace Crawford, who’s picture wasn’t even removed from the school’s website when he “retired.   So why not just continue paying Crawford who knows the job, say administrators?

Crawford is being rehired at the lowest pay possible for principals so it has minimal impact on the school system’s budget, according to an administration source.  

What about the taxpayers, who are now paying Crawford a state pension and a new salary from Broward schools?

At the same time teachers and staff are being laid off, the school system is considering hiring someone and allowing them to double dip? How many teachers’ jobs could be saved with $108,529?

This is an outrage.



24 Responses to “Principal Retires And Is Back, All In A Month”

  1. Where Can I Sign Up says:

    This is a shame because it will be used in Tallahassee to justify not giving the schools money.

  2. BrowardVoter says:

    One or 2 teachers could be saved with the 108k (depending on where the teacher(s)are on the pay schedule). The 108k is going to be paid to whomever becomes the principal of Atlantic Tech. That is not really the issue (unless you want to discuss if a school needs a principal, which is a different issue). Also, whether or not Mr. Crawford cleaned out his desk is a non-issue (and in the interest of disclosure, I have never met Mr. Crawford) The issue here is if a retired employee is permitted to be rehired after completing DROP. As long as the State rules allow it, then it is permissible, even though it may “look bad.” This is not a District level decision, if it is wrong it must be corrected at the State level. (BTW – I am in agreement with you that an employee who completed DROP should not be rehired, but the District is following the rules in these cases.)

  3. Educator says:

    The idea that someone can be rehired days after they retire is horrible. I am a teacher and if I leave there is no job for me. If the School Board doesn’t stop this, the Legislature and Charlie Crist should.

  4. Floridan says:

    This post is confusing enough that I’m not sure that I’m responding correctly, but here goes . . .

    First, is Crawford being rehired under the DROP program or is he being rehired after he has complerted his DROP period?

    Second, since he is being rehired at the minimum salary, and if he had benn doing a good job as principal at ATC heretofore, would that mean that the School Board is getting a good deal?

    Third, if Crawford is particpating in the DROP program, he is not collecting his pension. It is being held in an interest-bearing account.

    Fourth, the “large sums of money” (exactly what does this mean?)being paid into an ersatz 401k is in lieu of furher particpation in the pension plan.

    I’m not sure what the real objection is, here. As is so often the case, the suggestion is made that something wrong must be going on, but there is no evidence presented.

    Sounds like emotion over intellect. Where have we being hearing that lately?

  5. Dirty Sanchez says:

    I like me the double dippers.

  6. Educated Educator says:

    “Floridan” –
    Floridian is the spelling you are looking for. If you are going to argue that emotion is blinding intellect you make want to use yours and run a spell/grammar check.
    For an administrator to be rehired less than one day after retiring is exactly why the citizens of Broward County need to scrutinize the leadership at the school board and their ethics.

  7. TAXMAN says:

    This is the pitts, 20 yr employees w/retirement options, go get another job NOT the same one,step a side double dipping is BS, NO WONDER the SCHOOL BOARD NEEDS TO GO !Lets get the IRS to step in just for shits and giggles on all of them

  8. Hammerhead says:

    Floridian,

    Crawford retired and completed the DROP, although your attempts at playing coy are cute. The board approved his retirement during the 4/20 meeting, but made the approval retroactive to 4/1 so that anytime after 5/1 Crawford could be re-employed without jeopardizing his DROP payout.

    Crawford then left without even cleaning out his desk and took a sizeable payout with his drop money. Maybe he’d just had enough (wink/nod).

    Then the superintendent, in concert with the HR department, create the illusion of a fair and impartial panel to review and evaluate the job candidates and by some strange cosmic twist Crawford gets the job.I feel badly for the other candidates who never had a shot going into the interviews. I can only imagine how the actual interview went between the chosen few.

    Therefore, in addition to getting a “good deal” on Crawford, the district also reaps the benefit of not having some newbie taking their sweet-ass time setting up that desk and office with personnal belongings and other business effects because Crawford never removed his stuff (wink/wink). Also, think of the man-hours saved by not setting up a new position/person in the robust payroll system. Time=Money.

    This symbiotic relationship between the superintendent, the board and the HR division is one of the things that has the district in such deep doo doo. The cronyism and nepotism are rampant but the school board wants us to know just how “gut wrenching” all of these current cuts are. I guess this re-hire just “takes the edge off” of that pain for a brief moment; I mean, don’t you feel better knowing that 800-1000 teachers are losing their jobs, but at least this guy gets to hold onto a six digit (second) salary. Think of all the jobs that salary will create (think trickle down effect), and some of the laid off teachers may be blessed enough to find a job at a coffee shop that he frequents…and the tips could be astounding…get it? This is really a “job creating” deal.

    Besides, who would want anyone to look at the Atlantic Vo-Tech books that wasn’t a crony? Certainly not the superintendent…he has far too much to hide in that vo-tech cash cow…like slush funds and secret money with special perks for special people.

    I hope this helped you out Floridian. You are cute.

  9. Floridan says:

    Hammerhead, I think your response to my comment pretty much proves my point.

    You make a lot of unsubstantiated allegations, but provide no evidence.

    As far as teacher layoffs, the blame should be directed at the Florida Legislature. Between unfunded mandates, cuts in appropriations and attempts to make teachers’ employment about as secure as an order-taker at McDonalds, our state legislators have done a great disservice to our educators and our children.

  10. ATC Employee says:

    The only way to save money in this situation is to NOT fill the vacancy.

    Crawford is being re-hired at the minimum salary for this position.

    If you fill the vacancy with someone else, they will earn the same amount.

    Crawford will collect his pension whether he is employed by the school board or not.

    It’s a zero sum situation finacially.

    The real issue isn’t money, it’s do you bring in a new person to learn the job or go with Crawford who knows the school.

    FROM BUDDY:

    What amazes me about the school system and government in general is its unwillingness to try anything new.

    Where is it written that a principal at a certain salary has to run every school? Why aren’t these salaries lowered for new hires?

    Many industries are combining supervisors, flattening their administration. Why can’t one principal be responsible for two nearby schools? Has it ever been tried? Why are their so many layers of administration in the school system? Charter schools appear to run with much less administration.

    The newspaper industry has financial problems. In response, levels of administration were removed. The papers still get published every day.

    Why can’t the schools follow this example? The world changes, but the school system is still trying to operate like it always has.

  11. Much ado about nothing says:

    Buddy, ATC employee is right on. Crawford is a principal of a voc-tech school. He has experience and knowledge about that specialized school, which by the way, has won many honors and accolades. The next closest voc-tech school is in Davie. The next closest to that is in Hallendale. Having one principal cover two voc-tech schools is not practical.

    That school will have a principal at that salary regardless of who is in that position. And ATC is right, Crawford will collect his same pension regardless of who is in that position. There is absolutely zero effect on the budget.

    In fact, the district is getting an experienced proven principal for a reduced rate.

    The whiners who cry “no fair” don’t like the fact that the state allows this. They also don’t like the fact that the state requires the FCAT, etc. As long as this is legal, this is much ado about nothing.

  12. Much ado about nothing says:

    Also, ATC employee is correct that the only way to save money is NOT to fill the vacancy. That does beg the question, why does this vacancy have to be filled now? Perhaps a better move would be to leave it vacant until August, then fill it with the experienced qualified principal, as allowed by law, thus saving the district $$ over the summer. Put in an existing interim, that’s how the district could save $$.

  13. New Teacher's Parent says:

    While he may be making the same salary as a new pricipal is not the only issue. Some other administrator does not get to move into the job. If this had happened another teacher would have moved into a school leadership postion and created an “opening” at their school. This would have saved a teaching job. Instead there will be a layoff. The young new teachers are not getting hired because we keep rehiring retired teachers and adminsitrators. Young teachers bring new ideas to the classroom and lower salaries which lowers the cost to the system.

    FROM BUDDY:

    In financially tough times, why is the salary the same? Private industry is cutting salaries. Why not the school system? I would bet that many would apply for the job anyway.

    Also, another person leaving a comment was right. Why fill the job now on the verge of the summer vacation? What is so necessary over the summer in a school that a principal is needed? Why not give everybody in the system a fair chance at the job? This does smack of cronyism.

    The public is fed-up with this type of conduct.

  14. Lookbehindcurtain3 says:

    This is all very interesting but you have to look behind the curtain of what is actually going on. Why do you have 2 Full Time Paid Principals at some High schools? You’re talking over $200,000 per year! How many teachers can be paid on the cost of the Lease for the Sawgrass Technology Center!!!! How many schools are under enrolled that can be closed and used for Administration at no cost! All the Board Members are using smoke and mirrors and we the tax payers keep paying!!

  15. ATC Employee says:

    Buddy, don’t get me wrong – I agree with you. Your points are spot on. I was just pointing out that hiring someone new (under current policy) doesn’t save money.

    This is my 12th year teaching and came out of industry to do so and I still get frustrated at the inefficiencies of the school system.

    Unfortunately, as you noted above, innovation is not the School Boards strong suit.

  16. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Everybody keeps talking abut experience at a cheap rate. I agree with Buddy to “try something new”. Mr. Crawford moved up the ranks and did a very great job but over half of his current salary was deposited in DROP for 60 months. So do a little math in your head. It’s time for him to move on and let new teachers or maintenance people keep their lower paying jobs and be able to provide education and food for their children. This type of behavior is pure GREED!!!

  17. New Teacher's Parent says:

    Buddy I am agreeing with you too! My point is this practice as a whole should stop. No new blood in a system is bad and if we keep rehiring the new teachers do not get a chance. The sytem as a whole would save money because the new teachers are at the bottom of the pay scale and also yonger blood makes a difference in your health plans too. Average in those 20 somethings with the 50′s and it brings those costs down too.

  18. Floridan says:

    All this talk about saving money by keeping a postion vacant for three months is misplaced angst.

    The School Board has a multi-BILLION dollar budget; $25,000 is a rounding error.

    If you want to get upset, direct your anger at the Florida Legislature, the real culprits in this on-going fiasco.

  19. j says:

    Buddy,

    Speaking of tax payer dollars, where are you on the BTU being paid as “employees” to get FRS credit while BTU then pays the sch board for having them on the books? Talk about a tax payer scam. Can I have the sch bd put me on their books to get DROP and reimburse them?

    FROM BUDDY: I wrote an outraged post on this recently.

  20. FACTS says:

    Buddy-

    This move has NO impact on taxpayers at all. He will receive his pension no matter what and the District will be paying someone to run the school no matter what.

    All references to “financial impact” are not based on facts. If the argument is that this position could be replaced by someone younger, I would agree. There is plenty of young talent in the district. Please keep the facts straight on the budget impact- it has none on the district or on taxpayers.

    Interesting factoid: Did you know that Principals are the only employees in the entire school district to have a majority of their evaluations based on student performance??

    As people try to dismiss Principals as unnecessary or expendable, remember the above- teachers do not live under that kind of scrutiny.

  21. Concerned citizen says:

    I think most of you are missing the point. My concern is the missing criteria of hiring back someone who just retired. One of the comments mentioned the candidates who were interviewed for the job. It was already predetermined who the principal would be. It was going to be Bob Crawford because he is a friend of the superintendent. My criticism is not of Bob, my criticism is of Jim Notter for not setting up a system for all employees to have the opportunity to be hired back. Right now, the Superintendent uses his discretion about who comes back. What makes this principal more valuable than another one? If Notter wants to continue with this practice, then publish the rubric or criteria that will be used to evaluate someone’s value to the system. Being Notter’s friend or a school board member’s friend should not be the only reason for additional employment.

  22. It will only get worse says:

    I heard that this is just the beginning. Dave Gordon, principal at Pompano HS “retired” on yesterday’s agenda. Folks at the school are saying that he is the next to come back and one SB member in particular has told folks at that school that he will ensure it. Wonder what special expertise Gordon has to be brought back? Other than a close relationship with a board member.

  23. want to know says:

    so here it goes again, they are rehiring the principals-preventing AP’s moving to a Principal job, and teachers’ to AP jobs. Hiring a retired principal means two peole lose their job.
    WHat makes Crawford so special? and Gordon? Gordon has a cush job at a cush school..anyone can handle that!

  24. Yaki says:

    This seems to be some kind of fraud…it needs to STOP.

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