Broward School Board proposes extending superintendent’s contract

Aug 11, 2009


Miami Herald–August 11, 2009


Calling it a show of confidence in uneasy economic times, Broward School Board members said Tuesday they want to extend Superintendent Jim Notter’s contract another three years — defying a repeated call by the Broward Teachers Union that Notter be fired.

“It’s incumbent upon us to show confidence at this particular time,” Board Chairwoman Maureen Dinnen said.

The board agreed in principle to the extension after discussing the school chief’s positive evaluation, but the move isn’t complete yet. Members still have to sign off on the extension, which would prolong Notter’s contract until June 2014, before the end of the month.

The extension does not come with a raise — unless other district administrative staff also get a pay hike, which board members and Notter said was not in the plans this year. Notter voluntarily cut some of his pay earlier this summer.

In his second annual report card, Notter was lauded for his accessibility and leadership during tight budget times, the spread of swine flu and a deadly shooting at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. Six board members gave him marks of “outstanding” and three “satisfactory.”

The board said the district needed to better communicate with the public, improve Broward’s high school graduation rates and mend its contentious relationship with the teachers union.

Business and community leaders, teachers, parents and some district employees also commented on Notter’s performance. Most were positive, though BTU reiterated its position that Notter be replaced.

Contract negotiations between BTU and the district ended in an impasse last year, and the two sides are again far apart in talks this year.

Last year, the board gave Notter a glowing evaluation and extended his contract through June 2011. A provision in the agreement called for any three-year contract extension to be made before Aug. 30 of this year.