Fri, Jun 14, 2024
What Lee County’s former superintendent’s contract, separation agreement reveals

What Lee County’s former superintendent’s contract, separation agreement reveals

  • PublishedJune 8, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The contract requests the incoming Duval County Schools superintendent asked for are not too far off from what he received in his previous position as Lee County’s district leader, according to documents obtained by News4JAX.

While serving as superintendent for Lee County, Dr. Chris Bernier received a compensation package that totaled $476,875.86, which included $500 a month for a car allowance and $50,000 for a mentor to ensure his success. The document contract was approved on March 8, 2022.

RELATED: School board chair stands behind Duval superintendent selection despite community criticisms

Bernier asked DCPS for a $350,000 salary with $50,000 for a mentor and $1,000 a month for car expenses.

DCPS has not finalized Bernier’s compensation package just yet, but the school board countered his request with an offer for a $280,000 base salary with the potential to make $5,000 in bonus pay for each goal he reaches as part of the board’s Strategic Plan Goals. The maximum he could receive in bonus pay would be $20,000.

DCPS did not meet his request for $50,000 toward mentorship but offered him the use of a district fleet vehicle or mileage reimbursement.

RELATED: DCPS chair says school board reviewed ‘comparable’ salary rates across Florida before making counteroffer

The signed contract from Lee County School District appeared to show that Bernier would remain on the payroll for 20 weeks and receive his current salary of $275,400. That agreement was approved on April 8, 2023, and signed on April 9.

Over 60% of Lee County voters decided they wanted an elected superintendent. Bernier told News4JAX at the DCPS finalist meet and greet that he left the position when voters decided to make it an elected position instead of an appointed one.

Bernier’s application to DCPS is dated April 6. Per his contract, he was supposed to provide 90 days written notice to the school board to terminate his contract.

Copyright 2024 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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