School & District Management

Miami Union Election Under Scrutiny by AFT, State

By Linda Jacobson — January 04, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The American Federation of Teachers and a Florida employee-relations agency are conducting a preliminary probe into the results of the election for president of the United Teachers of Dade.

The investigation was sparked by a request from candidate Shirley B. Johnson, the former secretary-treasurer of the 15,800-member union, which represents teachers in the Miami-Dade County school district. She charges that the results “depict numerous violations to the election procedures and blatant fraud.”

Ms. Johnson, a 3rd grade teacher, narrowly lost the presidential race to high school English and language arts teacher Karen Aronowitz in a runoff held last month. Ms. Aronowitz received 4,756 votes—407 more than Ms. Johnson.

If the state’s Public Employee Relations Commission finds any evidence of improper election procedures, a more thorough investigation will follow.

Ties to Former Leader

Ms. Johnson, who leads a group called the One UTD Caucus, served under former President Pat L. Tornillo Jr. Mr. Tornillo pleaded guilty to defrauding the union and stealing roughly $650,000 between 1998 and 2001. He is serving a 27-month federal prison sentence, and the union has been led by AFT administrator Mark Richard since the summer of 2003.

During the campaign for new officers, Ms. Aronowitz charged that Ms. Johnson was partly to blame for the crisis and that she didn’t report Mr. Tornillo’s thefts, but Ms. Johnson said that she knew nothing about any wrongdoing. She was cleared after the investigation.

Meanwhile, Ms. Aronowitz and other newly elected officers were introduced to the school board of the 338,000-student district last month and will be in training over the next few months. They are expected to take office April 30, when the AFT’s administratorship ends.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 05, 2005 edition of Education Week as Miami Union Election Under Scrutiny by AFT, State


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management 5 Things to Know About How the Culture Wars Are Disrupting Schools
Disruptions were more acutely felt in districts with more affluent and white students, but there weren't always clear-cut political lines.
6 min read
Illustration of neutral warning symbols, with two standing out in the colors red and blue.
filo/DigitalVision Vectors + EdWeek
School & District Management Divisive Politics Are Harming Schools, District Leaders Say
A new survey reveals how tough the politics are for some leaders, especially in the suburbs.
8 min read
Illustration of tug of war.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week, SvetaZi, and iStock/Getty
School & District Management Leading a City School District Is Tough. A New Program Aims to Ease the Way
Its creators hope to drive down big-city superintendent turnover by preparing candidates for the stresses of leadership.
3 min read
Woman standing on a paper boat with a tsunami wave approaching.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management 5 Tips for Switching From Snow Days to Remote Classes
Two district leaders say communication, flexibility, and adaptability are key to success.
4 min read
Close up of hands holding a smartphone and working at a laptop near a window showing a snowy day