Research 101: Solid, documented facts can be found using the “Google Machine.”
In 2015, Steven Soules of the University of Central Florida produced “An Evaluation of the Terms and Conditions of Appointed County School Superintendents Contracts in the State of Florida and the Correlation between District Size.”
As part of the report, Soules looked at the termination clauses of all the appointed superintendents.
“The terms and conditions regarding termination without cause ranged widely from county to county. Some counties included extensive conditions pertaining to such termination, while others simply did not address the issue.”Steven Soules
Soules confirmed what I reported earlier: “As of July 1, 2011, under Florida Statute 215.423 (2013), government officials cannot collect more than the equivalent of 20 weeks of salary in severance pay.”
However, there are a number of contracts that were created before 2011 that contain compensation in excess of 20 weeks of 134 salary. Escambia County School District cannot offer more than 20 weeks.
The only county that did not address the issue of termination without cause was Charlotte.
Twenty-one counties (84.62%) included terms or conditions regarding severance pay, which ranged from ten weeks to one year.
Table 42: Number of Weeks of Severance Pay
- Alachua 20 weeks
- Monroe 20 weeks
- Brevard 20 weeks
- Orange 24 weeks (Contract prior 7/1/11)
- Broward 20 weeks
- Osceola 10 weeks
- Collier 24 weeks (Contract prior 7/1/11)
- Palm Beach 20 weeks
- Duval 18 weeks
- Pinellas 20 weeks
- Flagler 20 weeks
- Polk 20 weeks
- Indian River 52 weeks (Contract prior 7/1/11)
- Sarasota 52 weeks (Contract prior 7/1/11)
- Lake 52 weeks (Contract prior 7/1/11)
- St. Johns 20 weeks
- Lee 15 weeks
- St. Lucie 20 weeks
- Miami-Dade 52 weeks* (Contract prior 7/1/11)
- Seminole 20 weeks
- Manatee 20 weeks*
- Volusia 72 weeks (Contract prior 7/1/11)
*Number of weeks or remainder of contract, whichever is least
Super majority vote
Only three districts – 11.54% – require a super majority to terminate without cause.
Note: Soules wrote that it took two months to get the employment contracts from all 26 districts with appointed superintendents. As reported earlier, Escambia County Superintendent Malcolm Thomas had eight months to do it, or he could have downloaded this report in two minutes on a Chromebook.