All eyes on schools chief Robert Runcie as board decides whether to fire him Tuesday

Superintendent Robert Runcie would be fired “for willful neglect of duty” and would receive no severance pay if the Broward County School Board approves a request Tuesday from its newest member.

The crucial vote, initiated by School Board member Lori Alhadeff, is scheduled to be discussed at 11:15 a.m. and should attract a packed crowd of supporters and opponents. Some business leaders and members of the black community are lining up in favor of the embattled superintendent. An association representing district administrators reports that some principals are being encouraged by their bosses to support Runcie.

Many in the Parkland community and their allies want Runcie fired.

Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed in the massacre Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, has been vocal in her criticism of Runcie’s leadership since she took office in November.

Alhadeff would need support from four other board members, which appears unlikely unless one of Runcie’s five most vocal supporters — Patti Good, Donna Korn, Laurie Rich Levinson, Ann Murray or Rosalind Osgood — became a surprise vote.

It’s also unclear whether even Runcie’s other critics on the board — Nora Rupert, Robin Bartleman and Heather Brinkworth — would be willing to fire him “for cause” as Alhadeff has proposed, which would force him to end his tenure immediately and not receive any severance pay.

Gov. Ron DeSantis just received approval last week to impanel a grand jury that plans to review possible wrongdoing in Broward schools. But it could be a year before its findings are released. Some board members may want to wait for the results of that.

The School Board met on security matters Monday, but most members avoided reporters or declined to comment when approached.

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