Notter Quits Amid School Budget Cuts, Layoffs!!!



School Superintendent Jim Notter announced his retirement today, leaving the school system with an uncertain future amid severe budget cuts and looming layoffs.

Broward’s public schools will be now be without  a general counsel and with a lame duck superintendent.

But Notter vowed to see the district until the state budget was set.  He said he would retire June 30.

“I need to make that decision at this point so we can take it (my future) off the plates and lead this district through some of the toughest times we’ve had,” Notter said. “..together we’re going to make it through.”

With four new members elected in November, the Board eased out the long-time General Counsel Ed Marko late last year.   They are in the process of hiring a new chief attorney and now must expand that search to include a new superintendent.



Jim Notter

Notter’s retirement comes at a time when the district is facing its toughest challenges in years.  The system could have to cut up to $90 million in a $2 billion operating budget.  Hundreds of employees face layoffs.

The retirement also comes a month after a statewide Grand Jury slammed the mismanagement of the Broward schools, contending they were too heavily influenced by politics and inside dealing.

In the wake of the critical report, School Board members last week voted to evaluate Notter’s job performance early. Many believe this was the trigger that pushed Notter out.  It was clear the early evaluation was the first step by some Board members towards firing the superintendent.

Notter took the bulk of the criticism generated by the Grand Jury report, shielding the Board.  Without him, the Board will be blamed for the mistakes from this point on.

The Jury report was as harsh with the School Board as it was with Notter’s administrators.  The Grand Jury blasted the School Board for “incompetence and “corruption.

The Jury said if it was within its power, it would dismantle the Board.

The Grand Jury findings were only the latest in a long line of criticism aimed at the system for decisions being made to favor a select group of contractors, vendors and their lobbyists.  Notter has been part of the Broward system for 24 years, having become superintendent on August 7, 2007.

This is Notter’s 37 years in public education, including 27 years in administrative roles and 10 years as a classroom teacher in Western New York, according to the school system’s website.

With over 255,000 students in more than 230 schools and education centers and 68 charter schools, many believe the Broward public system is impossible to govern.  There have been moves in the Legislature to break the Broward schools into smaller, more manageable systems.

12 Responses to “Notter Quits Amid School Budget Cuts, Layoffs!!!”

  1. About time says:

    Its about time.

  2. The joke's on them says:

    Well, the “new” board members got what they wanted, but in the end, the joke’s on them. As you said, Buddy, without the sup to take the heat, everything now will be the board members’ fault. If they think it’s going to be any better with “new blood,” they will have a rude awakening.

    If they hire someone new, from the outside, as they will most likely do, since there is no one qualified on the inside, that person won’t know who on staff to trust, who is good, who is part of the problem, and by the time he or she gets up to speed, lord knows what havoc the staff will have done by that time!

    Now they have to appoint an interim, and good luck with that, too, for there is really no one competent to do that, either.

    I predict many “old timers” will also leave, leaving so many inexperienced senior staffers it will be a disaster.

    But, at least Notter’s gone, right, new board members and the bloggers?

  3. I'm Just Beachy says:

    I WAS A STAUNCH NOTTER SUPPORTER TIL HE PERFORMED HIS ” FACE TURNING ACTIONS. Maybe now our students can get a FABULOUS superintendent who WILL really get to the root of it all and change our dis-functionality into a productive and positive system. Would be a dream come true or our county schools.
    Bye Jim Notter.

  4. Hammerhead says:

    Notter did the right thing just a little late but there are still at least four board members who need to do the same. Murray is hanging on by a fingernail. Dinnen will be the poster-child for why one shouldn’t question the wisdom of a grand jury – a secret group who listens to testimony to protect the reputations of those who are innocent until proven guilty. She said their work was akin to gossip. That will leave a mark.

    Which board member might the Oliphant debacle most likely be attached to? That did not help Notter but it did show that there are moles everywhere in the system. How did they think that would go unnoticed?

    Finally, there is Gottlieb. She actually backed the Murray move to get rid of the people who testified to the grand jury? I mean can you be any more obvious when you go directly after the people who were most likely to have given honest testimony? That is bush-league.

    There are so many people who counted on Notter for cover that one can only imagine many will soon be retiring and resigning.

    As Buddy would say…hmmmmm

  5. All In Favor? says:

    After listening to the ramblings of the old and new board members today, it is certain to say 4 need to step down! The Board Office is the only department that has not made any cuts to its Budget. What makes them so special??:?: They haven’t any clue of who is keeping the schools going! The top heavy Administration needs to take a hit for a change and leave the worker bees alone! Did you know that the CFO makes $60,000 more than any CFO in the state of Florida!! If we haven’t any money, why does the CFO have more staff then needed!!
    Hey people, the tower is leaning from the weight at the top!!
    Stop the witch hunt and start at the very top!!!
    What we need is SAM MORGAN BACK!!
    or someone like him who cared about the kids first!!!

  6. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Finally, someone who remembers Sam Morgan and the great job he did, no lobbyists, no payoffs, And as you so precisely said about Gadly Fly Barney Schlesinger, “We don’t need construction we need instruction”… The more favortism you give, the more you have to cover up….we need somebody to be out in the arena with no cronyism. All of the people hired back after doing the DROP and receiving huge payoffs, need to get out of their seats and vacate them to someone who can do the job as well as=nd them and give them a chance to take care of their families. There are some pigs purging the SB when they can be retired and let some new life into the system…..and I am one of the oldies and retired (but not a pig) … there. Leave room for some new life.

  7. Nancy says:

    NOW would be a great time to make the Superintendent’s Job and elected official job. Elect instead of appoint. Everyone knows in Broward Schools….not what you know but who you know and lord oh lord dont ever cross your administration. Employees are ruled by fear and intimidation. Absence of threat…bull crap!!

  8. Daniel Simpson Day says:

    Heaven help us all!! With Nancy’s plan Phyllis Hope or Warren Meddoff would qualify to become Superintendent.

  9. Sharon Graham says:

    I am the lone teacher who spoke to the board and called for Notter’s resignation. WHERE was the BTU???

  10. Sharon Graham says:

    I am the lone teacher who stood before the board and called for Notter to be dismissed! Did anyone see the BTU stand up???

  11. pbm says:

    I’ll take on Notter’s job!
    If the B.S. of cronyism, favoritism, lobbyists, racism, and kickbacks and other dark backroom deals were done away with, I could do this better than Oliphant, who is probably sharpening her fangs for the position.

  12. Floridan says:

    @Nancy “Everyone knows in Broward Schools….not what you know but who you know and lord oh lord dont ever cross your administration. Employees are ruled by fear and intimidation.”

    They’re just trying to run the school system like a business.