Palm Beach Interim-Superintendent Given Permanent Job By School Board

PBC Schools Superintendent Michael Burke

Photo: CBS 12

As the classic rock song from The Who goes, "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

That's the story in Palm Beach County where the school board has voted to promote Interim-Superintendent Michael Burke to permanent Superintendent.

The vote was unanimous, with board members like Alexandria Ayala singing his praises.

"(He) really is the right leader at the right time at the right place and I fully support you in this role Mr. Burke."

A number of parents spoke out against the move, some saying they wanted the opportunity to weigh in on who would hold the superintendent job. Others continued to blast the board for the school district's restrictive mask mandate which doesn't allow for parental opt-outs.

As one woman said, "You are breaking Florida state law and you are not above the law," citing the Florida Board of Education's policy that parents must have the choice as to whether their kids must keep their faces covered on campus.

At least three people were kicked out of the meeting over what's being called disruptions.

After he was sworn in, Burke said that despite the tension from parents at recent school board meetings, he has the support of the community.

"What I'm encouraged by is when I'm out and about in the community at large, they're very supportive. They understand the hard decisions the board had to make to keep people safe. I feel better knowing that the vast majority supports what we're doing and they support local schools."

Burke's new contract runs through June 30, 2025, with his annual salary through that date in 2022 set at $300,000. He has the opportunity to receive more money, depending on performance.

He has been with the school district for over 23 years and was Chief Financial Officer when former Superintendent Donald Fennoy resigned over the summer. That's when Burke was named Interim-Superintendent.

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