St. Lucie also pays 20 weeks severance

The St. Lucie County School District is similar in student population to Escambia County and is ranked #30 in the state. It has an appointed superintendent that can be fired by three school board members, not the four votes that the Escambia County School Board is considering.

St. LucieEscambia
Grade – 2018-19 school yearBB
Points Earned669606
Rank, out of 67 districts#30#51

The St. Lucie School Board also “reserves the right at any time and at its sole discretion for any reason to terminate the Superintendent’s employment.”

“In such event, for a period of twenty (20) weeks from the date of the official notice of the termination or for the term remaining on this Agreement, which ever is less, the Superintendent would continue to receive (i) his monthly base salary…and (ii) his post-termination insurance benefit…”

St. Lucie Employment Contract

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and his staff have failed to do the most basic due diligence in assisting the school board with the policies regarding the appointed superintendent and his employment agreement.

Florida has 26 school districts that have appointed superintendents. Thomas should have requested copies of the school board policies regarding the superintendent and his/her employment contract from each.

We got the contracts for the two districts closest in size – St. Johns and St. Lucie – in less than two days. Thomas has had eight months to do the same.

Duties, performance-based incentives, termination clause and other issues are clearly spelled out. For some reason, Thomas has attempted to reinvent those clauses.

Of course, it’s possible that he did do the due diligence and has the employment contracts for the 26 appointed superintendents in the state and has hidden them from the school board.

If Thomas and his staff are willing to manipulate the policies governing the appointed superintendent so early, can voters trust them to run an objective selection process?

Keep an eye on who is selected for the advisory committee and any games played in scoring the applicants.

The school district has already had its hands slapped twice for rigging its bidding process: Fighting for a Fair Bid Process and Another Bidding ‘Black Eye’.

Are Thomas and his administrators trying to steer the process to a particular candidate? Are some of the board members willing players in the conspiracy?

I hope not.