Montgomery County School Supt. Charles M. Bernardo confirmed last night that he has applied for a job as superintendent of the Broward County, Fla., school system, the 11th largest school system in the country.

The announcement came nearly one month after a county circuit judge invalidated Bernardo's second Montgomery contract, scheduled to begin Oct. 1. Bernardo, who is one of 29 candidates for the Florida post, said he will tell Broward County officials by May 1 whether he intends to accept the job if it is offered.

"Broward County is in the path of progress," Bernardo said. "The superintendency there is the only one in the nation I would consider accepting beside my current job." He called the position, "a tremendous challenge."

Fort Lauderdale is the Broward County seat.

"My first choice is still the job I currently hold," said Bernardo, who is currently appealing the court decision on his Montgomery County contract. "I believe there is a 50-50 chance my appeal will be upheld," he said. Bernardo said he was nominated for the Florida job by Columbia University faculty members who were picked by Broward officials to head a search committee.

Bernardo's interest in the Broward County job was reported yesterday in the Montgomery County Sentinel.

The court action invalidating Bernardo's contract came as the result of a suit filed by the newly elected Montgomery School Board, whose majority is pledged to fire him.

He said yesterday that he is considering other possible opportunities in the private sector and indicated that he prefers to remain in the Washington area.