School Superintendent Runcie Is Lucky He Wasn’t Dumped Years Ago

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

Robert Runcie didn’t need his Harvard education to figure out he had reached the end of his career on Tuesday as Broward School Superintendent.

Despite his comments, Runcie’s resignation wasn’t to give closure Parkland families who had lost members in the deadly shooting three years ago.  

The real reason was basic math. 

 

Robert Runcie’s mug shot

 

He needed five of the nine School Board members to back  him.  When member Donna Korn unexpectedly dropped her long-time support of Runcie, he counted the votes and came up short. 

Five against him.  Only four supporting him.

He quit.

He could do the math. After all, he went to Harvard.

So don’t believe his pious comments about giving peace to the parents who lost relatives in the Parkland school murders.  

Runcie could have quit two years ago if he felt so badly about the Parkland parents. His comments were more shading of the truth by a superintendent who made spin an art form. 

Here are some thoughts on Runcie:

 

Is Rosalind Osgood An Impartial Negotiator?

 

The Chair of the School Board, Rosalind Osgood, will negotiate the terms of Runcie’s departure. Taxpayers should watch this carefully.

Osgood has been Runcie’s strongest supporter on the Board. How much will she throw his way to cushion his departure?

 

Rosalind Osgood

 

Free health insurance for him and his family? Car allowances? Payments for unused vacation pay? And so on. And so on. There is no end to the goodies that can be handed out when it isn’t your own money.

Runcie makes $365,000 annually and is apparently entitled to $137,000 in severance.

It should be noted that Osgood filed papers to run for state Senate almost the same moment that Runcie was quitting. That clearly adds a political element to the negotiations over Runcie’s severance. 

Runcie has some support in the black and business community, two groups Osgood doesn’t want to alienate while running for office.

 

Runcie Could Have Been Fired Years Ago

 

It took Runcie’s indictment for perjury before a statewide Grand Jury to finally convince School Board members to ease him out. 

But what about all his fiasco’s of the past.

The major one is the disastrous failures of the $800 million bond program. He never delivered much of what he promised. Those mishaps would get an executive fired in most corporations.

Runcie’s handpicked administrator overseeing technology was busted for bribery and bid tampering on a $17 million contract.  That was the technology deal that Runcie lied about to jurors, say prosecutors. 

 

Runcie’s Lack of Transparency

 

Through his decade-long tenure at the School Board, Runcie hid truth from both the public and the Board member. 

He repeatedly blocked public records from being released, either by simply refusing to disclose them or slapping a usurious charge for the disclosure. He even dragged his feet, I am told, when School Board members he perceived as enemies asked for information. 

The Sun-Sentinel has ben forced to fight with him over obtaining what are clearly public documents. This leads me to some cheer leading for the media, especially the Sun-Sentinel’s Scott Travis.

Travis has been relentless in his search for the truth at the School Board.

It hasn’t been easy. How would you like to work where every attempt to do your job is met with road blocks?

 

 

 

That’s what Travis faced.

Despite facing constant obstructions, some of  Travis’ stories were blueprints for the Grand Jury to follow.

Scott Travis is a prime example of why this community needs a vigorous, independent media like the Sun-Sentinel.

(Scott and I over-lapped for some of my time at the Sun-Sentinel, but we worked out of different offices.  I hardly knew him and my comments have nothing to do with a personal relationship, since we don’t have one. But I know journalism and I have long admired Travis’ work. I wish the local media had more like him.)

 

 

So What’s Next?

 

When Runcie finally exits, he will quickly fade away from the Broward school system.

Regardless of what you believe about Runcie, he was long past his buy-by date.  He was hired in 2011 and that’s a very long tenure for school superintendent.

System’s like Broward need constant refreshing.

Whoever replaces Runcie will have their own way of management and their own cadre of administrators. And the new group will bring new ideas.

All that is a good thing. And a little bit of optimism for the future.

 

 



19 Responses to “School Superintendent Runcie Is Lucky He Wasn’t Dumped Years Ago”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Sorry BUT AS CITY COMMISSIONS CONTROL City Managers SCHOOL BOARDS CONTROL THEIR SUPERINTENDENTS. If the Board of White housewives CARED ABOUT STUDENTS, Ok BLACK students, THEY WOULD HAVE CHANGED RUNCIE. THEY DIDNT. Yes it’s outrageous what he n the Chief Attorney did IF PROVEN but the REAL SCANDAL IS CORRUPTION FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT N LOUSEY EDUCATION which CONTINUES AS I TYPE. RUNCIE leaving DOESNT CHANGE ANYTHING ONE WHIT! The same clown ‘business leaders’ ‘non profit’ n other Special interest whores continue to run a MISERABLE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

  2. A frequent reader says:

    It is indeed time for a change. Broward County public schools need a Superintendent who is an honest, open communicator, does not play favorites in hiring, is hired based on competence (not gender, sexual preference, race, etc.), and can hire competent people to deliver instruction to students in safe environments.

    Runcie failed in managing construction budgets, technology budgets, school safety, and being honest with the public.
    Change will hopefully be refreshing and beneficial to Broward’s public school students, teachers, staff, and parents.

    Hiring of Superintendents has been quite shaky in the past. Years ago, Frank Petruzielo was in charge. One of his tricks was not letting employees contact anyone above their own status. Another trick was to bully employees. He once told an Assistant Principal at a large high school to open the damn windows when she wanted to dismiss the students due to extreme heat in the building. She stood up for the students by informing him the damn windows were sealed shut and rang the dismissal bell simultaneously.

    Broward deserves a break from ego driven Superintendents.

  3. andrew ladanowski says:

    He just vested his 10 years of service. So he will have a nice Florida pension!

  4. In The Know says:

    You are an optimist about the eventual outcome. Most likely another loser will be put in charge.

  5. Better than I Deserve says:

    There is a fact that this whole narrative will continue. This is a “tie to” and political item of interest AKA’s most “famous” member, other than Ms.Osgood,an honorary Ms. Obama, In the future Sasha Obama, Rosa Parks, Kamala Harris, etc…etc..pure politics. The negotiation will be generous beyond belief. The fact is Broward is the strongest Democratic County in Florida. Republicans have little chance to impact anything, so, you all, good luck.

  6. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    He would have been out in 2011 if Nan Rich hadn’t made sure there would be no state oversight committee. Because her daughter Rich Levinson was on the board
    An argument can be made that if there had been an oversight committee Parkland wouldn’t have happened. I was on the Audit Committee and Facilities Task Force (chair))and saw firsthand what was going on. Given the makeup of the board nothing much will change unless the Governor puts an oversight committee in place

  7. Real Deal says:

    Broward needs an elected Schools Superintendent and an appointed school board, selected by area parent teacher associations to advise. We have the scenario reversed here and until that is fixed kids won’t be educated as well as they could. The system has outgrown the current obsolete governing structure. Broward Schools is today a huge organization and it needs an elected CEO to run it, not someone who tries to run a multi-billion dollar operation while kowtowing to a committee that can’t by law even by law talk business with one another. It’s simply silly.

  8. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    What about this absurd legal theory that u if Mr.Runcie resigned they would drop the charges.I mean come on
    It’s like me robbing a bank and then bringing the money back to the bank.U think the State would drop the charges.Lunancy.

  9. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    It is quite possible not only will Mr.Runcie get his 20 weeks but he also entitled to sick pay,Vaca.

    So u r now looking at over 300 thou.I say watch Ms.Osgood and this golden parachute out of here.

    U r right Buddy ,he did the math.He once lost Korn he knew he was done.

    I say hold off for for now if possible.Suspebd him,pay him the 20 weeks and will revisit his sic leave and Vaca at a later date.

    Lastly,very surprised at his atty and this ridiculous tactic where he will resign,and w/ the volunteer termination the State etc would drop the charges.

    Ladtly I like Bogey strategy concerning his client Atty Myrick.W/ her Bogey major concern is that she retain her law license.Bogey wait/ see is her best best. One thing for sure Atty Myrick wise decision to hire David Bogenshulz.( But Bogey u had to represent the man that allegedly massacred the pit bull – Ollie- why?.).

  10. Jeff says:

    Or……Runcie did a great job as superintendent, he cared deeply about evolving Broward Schools from a joke into a modern school district, but he unfortunately got on the wrong side of puppet Desantis. And I like the veiled comments inferring he got his job because of his race, and the reporters clear disdain for the fact that Runcie went to Harvard. It’s great that Desantis went there but when a black guy goes there? So uppity!! Yes, smart black guys with top tier educations should definitely be minimized so a journalist (with what educational credentials?) can make an uninformed point. Sloppy journalism and a bunch of predictable comments from typical (probably anti-vaxxer) Floridiots..

  11. Tired of the Drama/Slander Reporting says:

    Couldn’t get the facts reported without throwing slander. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” says independent media.

  12. Brenda Booker says:

    I worked 38.5 yrs and the school system could have allowed me to at least finish this year up because my 5 yrs drop plan would have ended in July 2022. I did not received one congratulations from my school by my principal and I still waiting. I’m very disappointed with the way I was dismissed. My husband and I have underlined issues so I couldn’t jeopardize our health working in an unsafe place. Mr. Runcie I hold responsible for that !!!

  13. Peter munroe says:

    I’m a bus driver and we need changes to the system.

    Rancir mentions very little about us and I hope the new superintendent is more transparent with us and reward us for our long service.

  14. Kenneth Tewel says:

    You’re incorrect about Runcie. First and foremost he’s a desirable commodity as a superintendent and other large school districts will shortly be lining up to recruit him. Second, he lasted for 10 years because he’s generally respected and valued by teachers administrators, parents and local communities. He wo4ks long hours, he attends community events, and he’s been wonderful for children at the margins. His departure will be a loss for Broward, one that will be realized after he’s gone.

  15. PandaBear says:

    So glad. Can’t say it enough: Good riddance!

  16. Michael Anderson says:

    Be careful what you wish for. This is Magastan…..where corruption is closer to the norm that to the exception.

  17. nancy hudson says:

    I know Runiceis not perfect no one is the School Board need to clean house,start with no parent should be on the board if they have received money from Broward county School Board or have children still in the school system,how can one love Broward School Board& the system has been negative in prosecution the death of Stone Mcdougles High school students that would make this person out for vengeance, peace

  18. PandaBear says:

    Good riddance, Runcie! He also kept the shoe-ins Notter had left in place before taking the exit door. Many of those Notter appointments were bad choices….based on who was friends with him, not on ability. Runcie chose not to replace them. A few have retired since on incredible pensions. Let’s hope the next sup’t cleans out the house.

  19. Bob Adams says:

    You’re exactly right Buddy! Robert Runcie should have been gone years ago. The $800 million bond could have done so much for older schools in desperate need of renovations! But that did not happen. I knew the funds would not be used as promised; that’s why I voted against the bonds, despite supporting the concept.
    One thing that has not been mentioned – Runcie’s blatant interference in political affairs. He did everything he did to defeat his strongest critic on the School Board, Nora Rupert.

    FROM BUDDY:

    You are absolutely right about his role in working to defeat Rupert. He was as successful in her battle against Rupert as he was in getting the $800 million bond projects built. She easily won reelection.

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