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Broward Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright addresses ballot issues: referendum and wokeism

Vickie Cartwright
Broward County Schools interim superintendent Vickie Cartwright walks with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten as they visit the New River Middle School, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Weingarten is on a nationwide tour of schools to stress the importance of safely returning to five-day-a-week in person learning. Broward County is one of numerous school districts in Florida with a mask mandate for students. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(BROWARD COUNTY, FLA) — Broward Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Vickie Cartwright joined the South Florida Morning show to talk about a crucial education referendum on the ballot.

“As voters are heading to the polls, we want to make sure they are well-educated about the question on the ballot.” explained Cartwright.

As superintendent of the nation’s sixth-largest school district, Dr. Cartwright says she is “committed to educating today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world.”

She says the more than 256,000 enrolled students last year in 337 public and charter schools has dwindled to 254,000 students due to high school students dropping out during COVID and not returning.

The proposed one mill increase has been dubbed the “Secure the Next Generation” renewal. It would replace the current half-mill referendum that’s soon to expire.
“The renewal of this referendum will allow Broward County Public Schools to continue to recruit and retain teachers,” according to Cartwright.

She says the increase would amount to an addition $26 a month in taxes for homeowners and $15 a month for condo owners if the referendum passes.

The new “Secure the Next Generation Referendum” would increase voters’ investment in education from a half-mill to one mill to continue securing funds for all public schools – and will now also include charter schools – to:

Recruit and retain high-quality teachers and eligible staff by increasing compensation supplements
Maintain and enhance school resource officers and school safety staff
Maintain and enhance essential programs, such as mental health services

Why does BCPS need to renew the referendum and increase to 1 mill?

“The funds from the ½ mill referendum that voters approved in 2018 are set to expire. Those funds support over 500 school safety personnel, 100 mental health professionals, and approximately $82 million in salary supplements for teachers and eligible staff, to compete with neighboring school districts.

This renewal would provide BCPS with the ability to compete with neighboring school districts (Miami Dade County Public Schools, presenting an increase from the current .75 mill to one mill, and the School District of Palm Beach County Public Schools is currently at one mill), and to account for new legislation that now requires the District to share nearly 20% of these funds with charter schools.”

Also, Cartwright talked about the Broward School Board nonpartisan races saying emphatically that Critical Race Theory is not taught in any Broward County classroom.

“We don’t talk, we don’t touch, we don’t teach Critical Race Theory in Broward County Public Schools.”

Nonpartisan primary for Broward County School Board District 1

Marie MartinRodney Velez, and Paul Wiggins are running in the primary for Broward County School Board District 1 on August 23, 2022

Withdrawn or disqualified candidates

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Vickie Cartwright here.

Meanwhile school board races from becoming more politicized than ever before.  One of the most vocal critics of “Critical Race Theory” in Palm Beach County is Angelique Contreras, who is now running for the District 4 school board seat, covering parts of Lake Worth Beach, Boynton Beach, and West Palm Beach.

Contreras’ who home schools her children is running against incumbent Erica Whitfield, who’s running for her third term and it an advocate for Critical Race Theory.

Contreras appeared with DeSantis on April 22 when he signed into law what supporters call the “Stop WOKE Act,” which bans the teaching of critical race theory in Florida schools.