BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward School Board has once again voted to part ways with Superintendent Vickie Cartwright.
After a long special meeting Tuesday, board members and Cartwright decided on a mutual separation agreement.
During the meeting, Cartwright spoke out in her defense.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” she said. “Student improvement is increasing, student safety remains at the forefront, SMART bond program -- these glaring areas have always been of the highest concern. We’re making forward momentum. Again, the data speaks for itself.”
She did not hold back as she fought to keep her job.
“This is political,” she said, adding, “No more of this public humiliation, please sir. That’s what I’m asking.”
Some parents, however, spoke during the meeting, saying Cartwright has been ineffective and had four months to get back to the state’s request for documents from the district following a grand jury report.
Cartwright claimed the requests made were never formally submitted in writing.
Tuesday’s vote came after Board Member and Chair Lori Alhadeff told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that she planned to ask the board to fire Cartwright without cause Tuesday, giving her the 60-day notice required under her contract.
“I think it’s important to have this done and executed according to her contract and as quickly as possible,” Alhadeff told the Sun Sentinel. “I don’t think it’s healthy for this district to keep continuing with Dr. Cartwright’s leadership after she is terminated. I think it creates more disruption and chaos.”
“She didn’t perform in a way that gave us the confidence that she was our longer term leader for Broward County Schools,” Zeman said. “Let me be very clear, today’s action had nothing to do with politics. Is there politics in primary education? You bet there is. Should it end? Absolutely.”
Tuesday’s vote came a day after Scott Strauss, vice chancellor of the Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools, wrote in a letter that Cartwright failed to turn over documents to the state regarding school safety data for the district.
It also comes two months after Gov. Ron DeSantis’s five appointees swiftly pushed the superintendent out during a public meeting to the shock of the other board members.
During that November meeting, Torey Alston, who was then-chair of the board, at some point brought up the idea to discuss the superintendent’s fate with the district.
Alston and board members Daniel Foganholi, Ryan Reiter, Kevin Tynan, and Manuel Serrano voted in favor of firing the superintendent.
The four elected members — Lori Alhadeff, Debra Hixon, Sarah Leonardi, and Nora Rupert — voted in support of Cartwright.
In December, the school board voted again on the issue, deciding to keep the superintendent who has held her position since February 2022 until they could revisit the issue in January at the 90-day mark from the time the school requested updates on concerns they had.
Following Tuesday’s vote, Leonardi discussed concern regarding attracting quality candidates to replace Cartwright.
“I think the same dynamic has a high probability of coming up again and again with whomever we bring on next,” Leonardi said.