South Florida Sun Sentinel | By Scott Travis | February 24, 2022
Vickie Cartwright will start her tenure off as Broward’s permanent schools’ superintendent with a salary of $350,000.
That’s a big boost from the $275,000 she’s been making as interim superintendent but below the $356,000 salary of her predecessor, Robert Runcie, who stepped down last year.
The School Board, which agreed Feb. 9 to keep Cartwright on the job following a national search, approved the contract at a special meeting Thursday.
“I’m very excited for this journey, as we continue to build upon the great things that happen here in our school district and to pave new pathways of excellence in our school district for the benefit of our students and community,” Cartwright said after the vote.
The salary is at the bottom of the $350,000-to-$365,000 range the School Board offered when it advertised for the position.
Her contract, which will expire Dec. 31, 2024, also includes the free use of an automobile and a contribution of 7% of her salary into a tax-sheltered annuity. If the School Board wants to terminate her contract without cause, she will receive four months’ notice. She will also get the same annual raises approved for other district administrators, which has been about 1% to 2% in recent years.
“One of the things that’s not included is what to do if a superintendent is investigated or arrested,” Nathalie Lynch-Walsh, a member of several district advisory committees, told the School Board.
It’s an issue that actually came up before. When Runcie was arrested on perjury charges in April, there was confusion over how to handle it. Runcie’s contract, like Cartwright’s said, the superintendent could be fired “for cause” for reasons such as a felony conviction, moral turpitude or willful neglect of duty. But district lawyers said an arrest alone doesn’t qualify.
The School Board reached a mutual agreement with Runcie where the terms of his exit package were equal to those of being terminated without cause, which allowed him to stay on for 90 days.
The School Board didn’t specifically address this issue Thursday but did agree to reduce her notice from 90 to 60 days if she were to be fired without cause.