Broward County Schools Superintendent fired at last meeting of Governor-appointed majority Board
Will Vickie Cartwright get fired — again?

All the Board's elected members opposed the action, which was not originally on the agenda.

Broward County Schools Superintendent Vickie Cartwright was fired Monday night at the last scheduled meeting of the Board containing a majority of Gov. Ron DeSantis appointees, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Cartwright came in as the interim leader of the country’s sixth-largest school district when the aftershocks of the Parkland school shooting resulted in the arrest and firing of the previous Superintendent in the spring of 2021, Robert Runcie. She was named Superintendent of the district in February.

Though she was not in a decision-making capacity during the controversy that resulted in the removal of four Broward County School Board members that a grand jury report found had neglected their duty, Cartwright soon found herself in the crosshairs of the Board members DeSantis appointed in their stead. DeSantis appointed a fifth Board member earlier to fill a vacancy resulting from Sen. Rosalind Osgood’s resignation from the board to run for state Senate.

Cartwright had been given 90 days to improve on Oct. 25, according to the Sun-Sentinel, but a scathing audit regarding two county contracts proved to be the last straw.

The discussion of her continued employment was not warned, but DeSantis-appointed School Board member Daniel Foganholi, who lost his bid for the Coral Springs City Commission last week, made the surprise motion at about 9 p.m. Monday.

After some back-and-forth, his fellow DeSantis appointees on the Board agreed, with the elected members opposed.

A special meeting planned for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday will name an interim leader, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Torey Alston, the current Chair of the Board and the sole member who will stay on the Board after this month, said, “I think it’s time to blow up this incompetence, get rid of this culture of corruption.”

The firing could be undone, however. Two of the four Board members elected expressed either support or willingness to give Cartwright time to improve the district’s operation in their Sun-Sentinel editorial board questionnaires.

Before her firing, Cartwright said she was working on improvements. “I‘ve taken swift and immediate, very clear action,” she said. “When I put corrective actions in place, somehow it becomes my fault. I am rising to the challenge, not running from it.”

Cartwright was leading the district when Broward became the first school district to mandate student masks in defiance of the DeSantis’ decree that public schools could not require student mask-wearing.

On Monday, she became the second Superintendent involved in that imbroglio to lose her job. Alachua County Schools Superintendent Carlee Simon also lost her job soon after a DeSantis appointee joined the Alachua County School Board.

In a September state Board of Education meeting, Board Chair Tom Grady asked if Cartwright could be fired for defying the Governor’s order regarding masks. The board’s attorney told him it was a decision at the local level because each county’s Board hires its Superintendent.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • SteveHC

    November 15, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Just another example of how DeSantis is in fact an autocrat who in truth has ZERO respect for, belief in or interest in promoting genuine democracy.

  • Gregory Ross

    November 15, 2022 at 9:40 am

    So begins the Great Purge and the acceleration of the decline of Florida Public Schools, as planned by DeSantis and Moms for ‘Liberty’. Be prepared for other districts with the extremist board members in the majority to fire their superintendent. It will take years for Florida to recover from the anticipated damage these unqualified school board members will inflict upon our schools, teachers, and students. Voters will not correct this issue until the damage is done and made public over the next 4-6 years. While the rest of the country progresses, Florida education will fall back decades as high-quality teachers, administration, and even students flee to states that actually care about quality public education. This is only part of the cause of the sinking of Florida education. The other half being the vast sucking of public education funds into the hands of for-profit schools, most of them failing institutions for education. As Ross Perot said, listen for that “giant sucking sound”.

    • Jim Cole

      November 15, 2022 at 3:43 pm

      You do know FL is at the top of the list regarding the states that offer the best education, since Desantis has been the Gov right?
      It’s also amazing how dead read FL is, now that you have voting laws that require proof of actually BEING a breathing voter.

      • Gregory Ross

        November 15, 2022 at 6:26 pm

        Please show me a list where Florida is ranked as one of the best for K-12 public education.


        November 16, 2022 at 4:10 am

        Well said Jim. Clearly there are some that are delusional posting here. DeSantis has been the Best Governor this State has ever had.

      • Gregory Ross

        November 16, 2022 at 10:55 am

        Please point me to a list that ranks Florida’s K-12 public education as “best education”.

  • Tjb

    November 15, 2022 at 9:44 am

    DeSantis should be fired for not fixing the insurance crisis in Florida. He had 4 years to fix it. Cartwright had less than a year to fix the School District problems.

    • It's Complicated

      November 15, 2022 at 10:07 am

      In case you missed it, last week the voters had the opportunity to fire DeSantis, and decided by an almost 20-point margin to keep him.

      • Gregory Ross

        November 15, 2022 at 10:29 am

        Only 4.6 million voters of 14.4 million registered voters decided to keep him. Hardly an endorsement.

        • Bill

          November 15, 2022 at 10:54 am

          60% of actual voters cast their support for DeSantis. That is substantial!!

        • Tam

          November 15, 2022 at 2:26 pm

          Well the ones that didn’t want to keep him obviously didn’t think it was important enough to vote him out! Just saying!

        • RANDY ROGERS

          November 16, 2022 at 4:12 am

          Sour Grapes from a Poor Loser…

      • tjb

        November 15, 2022 at 11:34 am

        Not complicated. Desantis previously fired elected Broward school board members, so why can’t we fire an elected governor?

        • Tam

          November 15, 2022 at 2:27 pm

          Because most of Florida don’t wish to fire him. Which was obvious election night!

          • Tjb

            November 15, 2022 at 9:44 pm

            And most people in her school district did NOT want Cartwright removed. She was removed for alleged poor performance. Ron’s performance to fix the insurance crises is non-existent thus a poor performance. Looks like a double standard is in play. If you can fire Vickie why not fired Ron.

      • Ocean Joe

        November 15, 2022 at 11:46 am

        Congratulations, Desantis won big.
        He excited you with his war on weirdos, his tough talk, his abuse of migrants in another state, his gerrymandering to destroy two safe minority districts, his law limiting public protests, etc., the battle against Disney.
        But Hurricane insurance is a big deal that got left out. Florida’s school system is at the bottom of the pack, and going lower with the introduction of indoctrination.
        It’s one thing to complain about liberals influencing our children, quite another to simply replace that with rightwing stuff and the open desire to violate the separation of church and state.

  • Gregory Ross

    November 15, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Less than 20% of the population of Florida voted for him.

    • Ocean Joe

      November 15, 2022 at 11:48 am

      Give it up, he won big. It’s a red state with supermajorities in the legislature. We won’t see a backlash until he tries to ban beer sales on Sunday. The rednecks will wake up and Desantis will back down.

  • Margaret Koscielny

    November 15, 2022 at 11:32 am

    Time and another election cycle will determine what long term effect DeSantis’s authoritarian rule will have on the State. He will not be able to overcome the sunami of young voters who will oppose him and his fellow enablers in the Legislature. They will prevail, if you consider the voting pattern of the recent election, which showed the centers of high education in the state voting blue.
    They will go back to their communities and organize. You can count on it. The youth are more well-informed, engaged, and motivated to solve problems, not create them, as has characterized DeSantis’s Administration.
    Climate change, the effect it has on Florida’s fragile eco-system, examples of which abound from the recent hurricanes, will change everything. It has to, for Florida to survive. The old folks who voted for Republicans will be dying off, literally, or forced to move elsewhere because of condo collapses, storm damage, and economics. Politics is not static. DeSantis’s future is not written by PR specialists, hired to promote the unpromotable.

  • Phil Teves

    November 16, 2022 at 5:35 am

    Delusional much?

Comments are closed.


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