www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/sun-investigates/bal-foose-relocation-costs-20120507,0,2809877.story

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Howard school board to give Foose up to $25,000 in relocation costs

New superintendent is moving from bordering Frederick County

By Joe Burris

11:25 AM EDT, May 11, 2012

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New Howard County schools Superintendent Renee Foose recently inked a four-year, $250,000 deal that includes a provision that allows her to be reimbursed for up to $25,000 in relocation costs.

Foose will be moving from the neighboring Frederick County to Howard, where she must reside as superintendent.

According to the state’s Department of Assessments and Taxation website, she currently lives in a 1,531-square-foot, single-family home on .27 acres in New Market.

The house is two stories and has a basement, according to the site.

Queries with a few local moving companies found that the cost of moving household items from a house that size — without knowing specifically the amount of furniture — would range from about $1,400 to $2,000.

But Howard school officials said Friday that the relocation amount is for whatever costs are involved in moving from a home in Frederick to Howard, and stopped short of saying specifically what could be included.

Howard school board vice chair Frank Aquino said, "She will have to provide documentation to the board for review and approval. If it’s related to the relocation we’re going to pay it."

Aquino did not say whether the money could cover expenses toward the purchase of a home. "I can’t tell you the entire universe of expenses that she might deem to be related to her relocation," Aquino said. "If she believes they’re related to her relocation, she’ll submit them and the board will either accept them, reject them or come to some arrangement."

Houses in Howard County do cost more than in Frederick. According to city-data.com, the mean price for detached houses in Howard County in 2009 was $524,899. The mean price for detached houses in Frederick County that year was $388,382.

Foose could not be reached for comment.

In Baltimore County, the school system will pay up to $10,000 in relocation costs for Dallas Dance, the new superintendent. But he will be moving twice, once from Houston to an apartment in Towson and then again when he buys a house in Baltimore County.

Lillian Lowery, the Delaware school superintendent who was recently chosen for the top education job in Maryland and will be moving here, is being given up to $5,500 in moving expenses. Her contract states that "upon submission of required expense reports and proper receipts the superintendent shall receive a payment for reasonable moving, storage, and temporary housing expenses not to exceed $5,500."

Other superintendents have received similar relocation costs as Foose, but they were for out-of-state moves.

According to the Broward County (Fla.) Public School’s website, the school system approved a contract in October that paid Superintendent Robert W. Runcie $20,000 in relocation costs. Runcie had previously been chief of staff to the Board of Education in Chicago Public Schools.

In Santa Clara County, Calif., the school board reportedly approved a deal last month for new Superintendent Xavier De La Torre that included $25,000 in moving expenses. De La Torre is currently superintendent of the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas.

And in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the school system reportedly paid Superintendent Shelley Redinger $20,000 in relocating expenses last year to move from Oregon as part of her contract.

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

Baltimore Sun reporter Liz Bowie contributed to this article.