School Supt Runcie Dealt Huge Defeat







Superintendent Robert Runcie was dealt a massive defeat by the School Board on Tuesday.


Robert Runcie

Robert Runcie:  Board shot down his power play 


Board members unanimously rejected Runcie’s attempt to control the Bond Oversight Committee.  That’s the committee being creating to guarantee $800 million in bond money will be spend wisely.

Members bristled when Runcie proposed that he would appoint three of the members of the new committee, including the chair and vice chair.

My earlier post on his committee power play is here. 

Runcie released the proposal over the weekend without first talking to Board members. By Tuesday morning after meeting privately with several angry Board members, Runcie withdrew his plan to appoint the chair and vice chair.

But Board members’ displeasure went father than just the superintendent giving himself appointment powers.  Members rejected Runcie’s entire committee plan, consisting of members of various organization like the PTA, the Urban League and the AFL-CIO.

Member Nora Rupert led the charge. She made the motion tossing out Runcie’s plan.  The motion passed unanimously.

She noted that Runcie’s proposed committee had a major flaw – the lack of a prohibition against appointing any member who has a conflict.

Runcie would have allowed committee members who have done business with the school system in the past, present or future. Agreeing with Rupert, Board members made it clear that they want a ban on such appointments.

After investigating the size of similar committees in roughly a dozen other districts, Rupert believed Runcie’s proposed membership was too large. The superintendent suggested a 19-member committee, which he expanded to 21 members hours before Tuesday’s Board meeting.

Rupert said reaching consensus on a committee that large would be like “wrangling cats.”

The superintendent at one point tried to shut off Rupert, saying the debate on the committee should take place at a future workshop meeting.

Board members ignored him.

“Whatever you guys want to do, I’m fine,” he huffed.

The Board passed a resolution promising to create a committee without conflicts whose membership would be decided at another meeting.

There was no discussion of having the Inspector General or some other outside agency monitor the spending of the bond money, if the referendum passes next month.



Here is something for the Board to consider at their future meeting on the  committee membership:

First of all, Runcie caved on appointing the chair and vice chair.  He still believes he should appoint three members to the Oversight Committee.  He shouldn’t appoint any!  Runcie and his staff, their mistakes, their misrepresentations and their misspending are the problem.

Runcie had originally suggested that the Urban League appoint a member to the committee.  On Tuesday, he added the NAACP.

Having two groups largely concerned with affairs in the black community is setting the Board up for controversy. What about a Hispanic group? A Jewish group? An Asian-American group?  You see where I’m coming from.

I feel the same way about Runcie’s proposal for including three committee members from the faith based community.  Lawyer Sam Fields, who also writes for, is an outspoken atheist. He made a good point when he wrote the following as a comment to my previous post on this committee:

One final note on the three “faith based” members. This means that a “public office” will be restricted to those who believe in a “Big Poobah” in the sky. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states”…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

I can’t wait for that lawsuit.


Establishing an ethnic or religious litmus test for membership on a government committee is wrong and its unAmerican.  What was Runcie thinking?





16 Responses to “School Supt Runcie Dealt Huge Defeat”

  1. Is it true says:

    Is it true that Shelia VanHoose after this vote was heard screaming and yanking posters off the wall in the next room in a way similar to Tracy Flick in the movie Election?

  2. Alice McGill says:

    About damn time!

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    For those interested in the ROC program, here’s an update I received from Nora Rupert.



    Thank you for your patience with your requests for information from Public Records, SIU, the Superintendent’s Office and from me.This is the response from downtown. I am sorry it has taken so long.


    —– Original Message —–

    From: Kathleen Ginestra October 8, 2014 4:02:11 PM
    Subject: ROC Program
    To: Nora A. Rupert
    Cc: Jeffrey S. Moquin Terry P. Openden

    Dear Mrs. Rupert,

    I followed up with Mr. Moquin’s office regarding the status of the ROC program. Our new Chief of Police, Anthony Williams, has been asked to review the ROC program in conjunction with the office of the General Counsel and to subsequently make a recommendation to the Superintendent on the continuation of the program The time frame for this review and action is the end of the calendar.

  4. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    And it took how long for them to get to this point? Too late to the dance.

    There are so many other abuses and outrages that they haven’t even admitted to.

    And Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

  5. Please stop says:

    You white folks are forever trying to disenfranchise and embarrass African American electeds in Broward County. It’s a damn shame!

  6. Mae Smith says:

    What happen to community leaders. I dont understand why HOA’s and Civic groups were not consider; since they were pressing for the community to support.

    Are community leaders consider not qualified enough to serve? I smell a rat!!! The eastern schools will get the same thing as always. NOTHING!!! Well they will give them new computers; since that’s the biggest thing you hear them sell. But, I can bet our children will still be struggling to use the computers (not enough).

  7. @ Charlotte says:

    “Complains are like the clouds that produce no rain no matter how thick they gather. Never depend on your complaint thinking they are stair cases. Drop that thing.”
    ― Israelmore Ayivor, Shaping the dream

  8. Michael says:

    #5 what African American electeds are you referring to ? Mr. Runcie, and Chief of Police, both are employees of The School District.Hopefully this Board is starting to remember that. Way to go ladies.

  9. Michael Sirbola says:

    Mr. Runcie, pick me. One of three for a seat on the bond oversight committee. Pick me, Mr. Runcie.

    I swear allegiance to both you and kids.

    Trust is Two-way.
    Trust is Visible.

    My record is impeccable as provocateur.
    It is available on YouTube and Facebook for all to see, and in tapings of many past school-board meetings.

    As a potential candidate my credentials in meeting the concerns as voiced here and in Red Broward are ideal – I am literally and figuratively “colorful” and on-video-visibly uh… prickly.

    For assignment to this bond oversight board, “prickly is perfect.” Don’t you think?

    Well? Yes?

    I’ve presented to the board many times over more than a few years – always on just one topic – although it may not have always appeared so.

    Mr. Runcie, pick me. One of three. Soon. This week. Days count. Tongues Wag. For kids.

    At the board meeting this past October 7th (the next schoolboard meeting is the 21st) – and in the interest of clear communication;

    My bringing up of the two-day window was NOT out of personal irritation, nor because I have any antagonism against anyone or any institution, not at all – It is because it is the equivalent of a small hand-axe being carried by the baby-sitter one interviews for a job, it is hard to not focus on. A small little thing, perhaps – but profoundly disturbing nonetheless.

    You will not see nor hear a negative word nor acerbically-phrased witticism pass my lips nor fingertips again – I am greatly calmed – Mr. Runcie (you) have at times appeared to be a giant duck – A walking, talking and acting (hatchet-carrying) duck. One cannot really trust an armed duck.

    In the administrations defence, the word “agenda” was used twice. Hmmm. No one gives a poop about the agenda. Nice to have, sure – – but as you must now see, this was a red-herring.

    Hmmm… can’t help thinking/noticing;

    What an awesome example this is of the “REACTIVE-CULTURE” we are about to change within our schools – discussed in this very Oct. 7th meeting by odd-coincidence.

    We now can agree and know that it is we that must change, our kids are (or soon will be) fine.

    If ever, ever there was a great opportunity to apply the Rwanda-miracle, it is here,

    Error is opportunity to learn; shall we lead by example? Reconcile?

    Despite appearances, as you and most if not all of those on the board well-know; I only ever speak to one topic, just one – period.

    Just the one topic, one goal, one purpose – period, period, period..

    Same-thing here as when I spoke at the recent board meeting – In the hope of one day seeing our schools here in Broward and nationwide become a safe sanctuary for our kids from an overly penal, and too often abusive and traumatic, world – to the absolute best of our abilities.

    I could care less about publishing of the meeting “agenda” – What is egregious is that there has been a complete lack of any meeting dates whatsoever readily available for so long, that nothing at all is, nor ever has been, publicly available on the BCPS website on upcoming meetings ever, until just prior – that the PUBLIC and PARENTS have been denied such a basic right in such a seemingly disingenuous fashion . Further – this is not a “new” policy – and it is not the first time it has been brought to the administrations attention – and it is again worth taking note that once again those that knew this sat silent at the board meeting.

    Neither is there any information on meeting dates nor places, nor even mention, of the existence of any-such “public” meetings whatsoever as are regularly held by (you) Mr. Runcie, on the public’s dime, with a shadow-board for charter schools – which anyone is welcomed to attend – if one knows the secret meeting-place and time. A secret password and handshake may, in all likelihood, also be required, one might reasonably suspect. Yes?

    Just a few more hatchets to go like these and we will be down to 100% duck, hatchet-free – and certified trustworthy.

    Trust in ever brighter future, because of our kids.

    The school district of Broward County, and State of Florida, now both (imorally, even if they’ve changed the law so that it is no longer a criminal act, it should be by the law of common-sense and right-action) destroy all email and other potentially incriminating data that is, at a minimum, of historical value – everything that is older than… wait for it… can you imagine or guess? Give it a try. Have a number in your head?

    Erase it all, all that is more than two years old – this is what is being said and done, right now.

    Can you believe the sheer gall of those that would presume us so ignorant and docile as to accept blindly their lame excuse of, ” It costs too much – Wah!”?

    No it does not cost much at all.
    I know.

    Liars liars, pants on fire!

    It can go into the cloud.

    Amazon. Microsoft. Google. IBM. Just pick one.

    So cheap to store, its almost free!

    My social-media credentials for a seat on the bond-board in meeting the “unusual suspect” criterion, are here:

    Additional qualifications for a bond-oversight assignment include experience as an EDUCATOR and quite a bit besides.

    The following is self-explanatory as to why I never quite know what to say (and have a notable zombie-ish-blank, deer-in-headlights stare) when asked what it is that I “do?”

    I’ve taught all grades K-12. In all of the schools in a community of 80k people. I did this as a substitute – for all subjects, every subject, every school, every grade. I also taught a 7th grade science class as a full time teacher in a nearby, smaller and isolated community of mere thousands. I’ve made filters to detect dangerous stuff in the air… medical products… patents… president of companies… never elected as president at one though, always had to start them – sigh!

    I’ve raised a little venture capital from a decently large venture-capital firm. I’ve recently taken-up the hobby of solving problems for large corporations, nonprofits, and other-such that either can’t solve them or seeks additional creativity due to a lack of in-house talent, or where a wise and creative company is humble enough to trust in the “us” that is everyone. They even occasionally pay me.

    Plus I also… um… made UFO’s… big flying discs… sort of…

    Here’s the story:

    What is the internet made of?

    It is made of spinning disks connected by fiber-optic cables.
    So much energy is used in spinning the disks, and cooling them, that Google and others are considering giant floating barges to make use of the oceans huge capacity to safely absorb heat – seriously – further, a significant percentage of the entire nation’s electricity is consumed in spinning those disks, quite incredibly, the gargantuan scale of it all is almost incomprehensible!

    The first photo of a large data storage unit appears to be a rotating drum style storage as compared to a rotating disk of the type we all have today in our computers. Interestingly, drums are still used to this very day in the “black-boxes” of airplane flight-recorders. Disks came later and I’ve never seen a photo of one – they were up to six feet in diameter and although I never saw the size of the drive these disks went into, they must have made the one shown in this photo, large as it is, look small by comparison one would think.

    The six-foot wide, thick, massive, disks I made were for the military, supposedly for NORAD but more likely for doing just what they are doing now when listening-in on all of us today electronically, only back then it was more about storing Russian and Chinese traffic i’d guess. Some things truly don’t change, note the airplane shown in the photo has barely changed (and may still be flying) in our own day indicating how little that industry has changed as compared to that of computing. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if not a single photo exists of the mythical six-food diameter discs of old… sigh!

    Some things are universal and change only very slowly if at all and this includes the laws of politics and of aerodynamics, apparently!

  10. cato says:

    It’s good to have checks & balances; however, let’s not let our fears of reliving the past, and politics, take our focus away from the much needed capital improvements and technology that’s needed for our kids. I chaired the site visitation committee for the diversity committee of Broward schools. Our babies are trying to learn with mold, outdated hardware & no batteries, eating lunch in the rain, wading thru puddles to get to class, etc. Read some of those reports. Let’s focus on what’s important. Facilities has a huge psychological impact on a student’self esteem.

  11. chacha says:

    Well done, Nora

  12. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Michael Sirbola, are you high? Diabetic?

    Come back down off the ledge.

  13. Pick Chip says:

    Good chance Chip LaMarca may be looking for a new job soon. This seems to be a perfect with all of his experience running LaMarca construction he would be a great fit. Who better than a fiscally conservative, runs a construction company and the darling of ABC, Associated Builders and Construction.

  14. Charles says:

    Such an embarrassment… Why is it that there are sneaky agendas without consultation with the team? But…hasnt he been voted in for 5 more years?

  15. Runcie on facebook says:

    He posted at midnight the board approved the oversight committee


    His Facebook post is spin.

    The Board approved the concept of a committee. They rejected his proposed 21 members consisting of various appointees from organizations like the AFL-CIO and from him. It was a total defeat for Runcie’s plan to personally appoint the chair and vice chair of the new (meaningless) committee.

    If they were serious about oversight, they would get an independent committee not attached to the School Board or the Superintendent.

    I found it interesting that among those who said they “like” Runcie’s comments were Ashley Walker, consultant for the pro-school bond committee, and Henry Rose, an activist who is helping promote the bonds.

  16. Mia says:

    Good job Nora! Brains and balls!!