Miami-Dade Schools

Miami-Dade School Board to vote on superintendent Carvalho’s contract

All eyes will be on Superintendent Alberto Carvalho - or rather, his contract - when the Miami-Dade School Board meets Wednesday.

An item on the agenda would give board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman the authority to negotiate a five-year extension to 2020 for Carvalho, as well as performance incentives and a new compensation based on the superintendent’s “fair market value.”

On Tuesday, Carvalho downplayed the vote. He said he has no intention of negotiating a budget-busting contract, and said he’s foregone roughly $200,000 worth of benefits and perks afforded in his current deal.

“The compensation issue is the least of my priorities,” he said.

But nine people have signed up to speak about the vote. And the item has caught the interest of the district’s teacher and police unions, both of which are currently negotiating pay, among other issues.

“I’m all in favor of the superintendent getting paid fair market value,” said Howard Giraldo, police union president. “We’ll support it as long as they’re considering doing the same for us.”

Carvalho is currently paid the same $275,000 salary he negotiated in 2008, as well as a $900 monthly stipend and other benefits.

Last week, following a year in which the district won the prestigious Broad Prize and received voters’ support to issue $1.2 billion in bonds to fund school construction, Tabares Hantman proposed an extension and raise for Carvalho equal in percentage to wage increases recently given to teachers, principals and administrators. But a committee of board members agreed to change the proposal to negotiate a salary at “fair market value” for public employees after board member Carlos Curbelo argued Carvalho was underpaid in comparison to other Miami-Dade executives of public agencies.

One executive not named: Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, who like Carvalho receives a $275,000 salary.

While the vagueness of negotiating a contract based on “fair market value” has sparked some concern from board member Marta Pérez - ”The truth is we are one of the poorest districts in the country,” she said last week - the board can add specifics to the proposal Wednesday.

Tabares Hantman said she hopes they will.

“I’m hoping Wednesday they tell me the parameters of what they want, so I have figures to negotiate,” she said.

Whatever is negotiated would have to come back to the board for final approval, according to School Board attorney Walter Harvey.

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