Regardless of how negotiations end between Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Art Johnson and the school board, Johnson will walk away with a six-figure dollar amount simply for accumulated vacation and sick days.
The school district's preliminary figures, which could change depending on Johnson's departure date, found that Johnson will have earned 891 hours of sick leave and 308 hours of vacation leave if his contract is terminated Friday. That amounts to $158,223.
"Those are our best estimates at this point, based on what we know," said Mike Burke, the district's chief financial officer. "This could all change."
And in addition to his base salary of $250,000, Johnson has been receiving $50,000 a year in a deferred retirement account since 2006. Burke said the district doesn't manage that account, so he doesn't know whether that account has gained or lost money or whether Johnson will be able to pull the money out right away when he leaves.
A district spokesman said information regarding deferred compensation accounts is confidential and exempt from public records laws.
Besides that, it's not yet clear exactly how much Johnson will get after he departs.
Under Johnson's contract, the Palm Beach County School Board would have to pay Johnson half his salary - roughly $150,000 - if it fires him without cause, but there are not set guidelines for settlement if a superintendent resigns. He is not entitled to any additional money if he is fired with cause.
Johnson also receives a $9,000-a-year car allowance and $6,000 a year in business-related expenses; it's possible those numbers may be used as part of the negotiations.
When former Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Joan Kowal was fired in 1999, she walked out with a year's salary (about $165,000) as well as money for unused sick and vacation time and reimbursement for travel costs. That totaled about $184,000.
But Kowal fought for more, pushing for $600,000 to buy out her contract.
After years of wrangling, the district settled with her in 2002 for $269,913, plus health insurance through 2005.
The board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on accepting a resignation settlement being negotiated by a representative or representatives for Johnson and school board Chairman Frank Barbieri. Until then, the totals are up in the air.
"I don't know what the negotiations will come out with," Burke said. "I'm kind of in suspense as well."
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