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Education official suggests removing Broward Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright from job

Top education official asks whether Broward Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright can be fired
Top education official asks whether Broward Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright can be fired 01:53

FORT LAUDERDALE - The chairman of the state's Florida Board of Education has suggested that Broward schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright should be fired for issues outlined in a grand jury report, which led to the suspension of four school board members, and for her defense of mask mandates.

In a conference call on Thursday, education board chair Tom Grady asked whether Cartwright should be fired. The comment came after a discussion by the board about how Cartwright defied a COVID mask order that Gov. Ron DeSantis issued last year which called for parents to decide the issue of mask usage and not school districts.

"I'm wondering, particularly in Broward since Superintendent Cartwright has been before this board before in connection with an order to show cause, why the board should not take further action in light of her decision to disregard rules that the board issued and disregard Florida law," said Grady.

At the time, Florida was reporting approximately 20,000 COVID cases per day.

Broward and seven other school districts, including Miami-Dade, defied the governor's mask mandate for students.

Grady also referred to a letter by education department member Tim Hay which suggested that problems identified in the grand jury report related to school safety and a billion dollar safety and renovation bond program may be ongoing.

Cartwright wasn't part of the district when the report was completed in April 2021. It wasn't released until August 19, 2022.

Last Tuesday, Cartwright updated the school board on actions that had been taken to address the issues addressed in the grand jury report, especially related to school safety.

In response to his comments, the Broward school district issued a statement that said in part:

"In response to a statement made by the Chair of the State Board of Education earlier this morning (Thursday, September 15, 2022), Superintendent Cartwright has and will continue to follow all laws. School boards adopt policies that govern school districts based on laws and other factors; superintendents are required to implement the policies.

Upon being hired as Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright was required to implement the face covering policy that was established by the Broward County School Board. Before the law (HB 1B) was signed into law, the School Board and the District had already made face coverings optional. The School Board and the District followed the law.

Since arriving at the District in August 2021, almost five months after the Grand Jury concluded, Superintendent Cartwright's priority has been focused on providing safe learning environments for our students and staff. With that objective in mind, she has made significant improvements in the organizational structure of the District, safety and security, and the management of the SMART Bond program over the past year and continues to implement additional improvements."

The district said will continue cooperating with Department of Education to ensure the safety of Broward's public schools.  

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