Broward County School Board could revisit termination of superintendent

by | Dec 5, 2022



  • The Broward County School Board could revisit its decision to terminate the contract of county superintendent Vickie Cartwright, according to The Sun Sentinal
  • The publication states that sources close to the situation claim board members could either be asked to rehire Cartwright or asked to rescind the vote to terminate her, effectively reversing the decision
  • It is unknown whether a move to reinstate Cartwright would gain traction among board members 
  • Cartwright was removed from her position in November following a 5-to-4 school board vote, with those voting to remove her citing what they referred to as “toxic behavior,” seeking to “reset, even when uncomfortable”

The Broward County School Board could potentially reverse the decision to terminate the contract of Vickie Cartwright, according to The Sun Sentinal, which reported that sources close to the matter state that the topic will come up during the Dec. 13th board meeting.

The South Florida publication states that the wording of the upcoming meeting is unclear, though board members could either be asked to rehire Cartwright or rescind the vote to terminate her.

In either circumstance, Cartwright would assume her role as superintendent once more.

Of note, however, is the uncertainty as to whether or not the motion can even gain the traction necessary to pass.

Cartwright was removed from her position in November following a 5-to-4 school board vote, with those voting to remove her citing what they referred to as “toxic behavior,” seeking to “reset, even when uncomfortable.”

“There was a consensus across the board that the Superintendent be given … a 90-day probationary period, knowing that those of us who are leaving would not necessarily be part of this process. I’m deeply disturbed by the audits … I don’t know to what extent you put all of this on the current Superintendent’s lap. I understand the chaos argument entirely, but if the board makes that decision today, we’re 5 or 6 months without a superintendent,” said Board Member Kevin P. Tynan, who ultimately voted to remove Cartwright.

The school district declined to disclose any information regarding the upcoming meeting, telling the Sun Sentinal that “the Superintendent’s focus continues to be on the operations of BCPS” and that the agenda will be made public in the coming days.

Cartwright, who assumed the role in February after her predecessor Robert Runcie was arrested on perjury charges, came under fire after a recent state audit was conducted to investigate whether the school district violated state law by giving $237,000 in exit payments to three administrators.

The complaint, drafted by an investigator within the department’s inspector general’s office, alleged concerns of financial waste related to the administrators receiving payouts far exceeding what is permissible by state law.

“This is about accountability,” said Daniel P. Foganholi when introducing the motion.

All five of the votes in favor of removing Cartwright were cast by appointees of Gov. Ron DeSantis, with the four dissenting votes coming from elected members of the school board.

DeSantis in August suspended four Broward School Board members — Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray, and Laurie Rich Levinson —  following recommendations from the Twentieth Statewide Grand Jury.

After deliberation, the panel of jurors concluded that district officials and the four members of the school board acted with “deceit, misconduct, misfeasance, negligence of duty, and incompetence” in mismanaging school safety funds prior to the 2017 Parkland shooting, leading to their dismissal from the board.

The 122-page public report also named former school board chair Rosalind Osgood, a state senator, who left the school board to seek public office.

Consequentially, DeSantis appointed Torey Alston, Manuel “Nandy” A. Serrano, Ryan Reiter, and Kevin Tynan as replacements in August. The governor also appointed Foganholi in May to replace Osgood once she became a state senator.

The appointed board members have repeatedly criticized Cartwright’s leadership abilities, questioning her ability to properly serve her job title in an October meeting.

Though it was previously decided that she would remain superintendent, the School Board demanded that she present a list of improvements she could make to the district, before ultimately moving to terminate.

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