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DeSantis education politics loom large over Broward County

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright and school board member Lori Alhadeff during a Broward School Board meeting at the Kathleen C. Wright Center in Fort Lauderdale on Monday.
Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright and school board member Lori Alhadeff during a Broward School Board meeting at the Kathleen C. Wright Center in Fort Lauderdale on Monday. [ CARLINE JEAN / SOUTH FLORIDA | South Florida Sun-Sentinel ]
Published Nov. 15|Updated Nov. 15

The big story: If there has been a place in Florida where the politics of Gov. Ron DeSantis have loomed large over schools, it’s been Broward County.

His actions have led to the departure of a superintendent and school board attorney, and the removal of a majority of the School Board members, in the largely Democrat county that doesn’t often see things his way.

The latest effect of the effort came late Monday. The five DeSantis appointees to the board — four of whom depart in a week when their elected replacements are sworn in — voted to fire superintendent Vickie Cartwright, the Miami Herald reports.

The move came after a critical discussion about audits, including one about the purchasing of graduation caps and gowns. The board also canceled those agreements, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Hot topics

Lauren Lemasters directs a question to Sen. Ben Sasse during a University of Florida Board of Trustees meeting at UF's Emerson Alumni Hall in Gainesville, on Tuesday, November 1, 2022.
Lauren Lemasters directs a question to Sen. Ben Sasse during a University of Florida Board of Trustees meeting at UF's Emerson Alumni Hall in Gainesville, on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

University president searches: The University of Florida’s student senate called off a vote to impeach its representative to the Board of Trustees, who voted to support Ben Sasse as the school’s next president despite being urged not to do so. • Two finalists for the president job at Florida Gulf Coast University dropped out, leaving one name for trustees’ consideration later this week, the News Service of Florida reports.

Virtual education: In Florida and several other states, online school enrollment remained strong after in-person schooling resumed after the height of the pandemic, The 74 reports.

Turnaround schools: The Escambia County School Board is set to vote on a plan to have a charter school operator take over a long-struggling middle school, amid questions from a lawmaker over what’s taken so long, WEAR reports.

Hurricane recovery: Sarasota County students will likely have to spend two days in classes that had previously been scheduled off. The action would take two planning days from teachers, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Community schools: An Escambia County high school is adding a new clinic to serve its school and neighborhood, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

Classroom health: Families at a Seminole County elementary school are raising concerns about mold and air quality problems in several classrooms, WFTV reports.

From the police blotter ... A Volusia County family is calling for the dismissal of a teacher who pressed charges against their 10-year-old son whom the teacher accused of groping her, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

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