FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Broward County School Board announced several changes that it will implement in the district following findings from a grand jury report.
Officials made the announcement at the same school board meeting on Tuesday that welcomed four new members appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Torey Alston, Ryan Reiter, Manuel “Nandy” Serrano and Kevin Tynan.
“There are a series of reforms that I think need to happen. The Broward School District is not there,” said Alston.
DeSantis made the appointments after he suspended longtime board members Laurie Rich Levinson, Patricia Good, Donna P. Korn and Ann Murray. The grand jury that issued the report determined they mismanaged millions of dollars in funding.
“Today, as a part of my superintendent’s report, I am providing an initial update to the school board and our community regarding the grand jury report,” said Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.
Cartwright discussed at length the changes made to the district in response to the grand jury report, including organizational and personnel changes.
In a letter to the district, the Florida Department of Education specifically mentioned three employees who, department officials said, failed the public.
“At this point in time, for the three individuals, either they have retired or they have resigned,” said Cartwright.
The superintendent also addressed changes to security, saying all but two schools have video monitoring single-point entry, and 80% of all classroom and lab doors lock automatically.
“We have a few goals that are still out there, and we are constantly working on that,” said Cartwright, “so, for example, with the school hardening, with the automatic locks, we are currently working on expediting that process as quickly as possible in order to ensure, once we have supply, we’re able to get it installed in a timely manner.”
In a 28-page presentation, Cartwright reiterated there’s still work to do, and she will continue to work diligently to get it done.
“I remain committed to ensuring that this is a safe environment for our students and our staff,” she said.
Cartwright also discussed the district’s transition to its plain-language emergency protocol, which will eliminate the use of all color codes, as required by the federal government and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission. She also addressed the implementation of metal detecting wands in schools across the county.
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