Excerpted from orlandosentinel.com, by Annie Martin and Leslie Postal
Shanqual Marshall-Gunn, banned from teaching in Florida public schools because of a Medicaid fraud conviction, was hired by a private school in Pine Hills a month after her release from prison in 2016.
She’s still teaching at Winners Primary School, where she was recently recognized at a “rising stars” reception for private school employees and students in Orange County.
Florida lawmakers this spring made modest changes to the rules that govern the private schools that receive state scholarships, or vouchers. But the new rules still won’t stop some felons from working in private schools, like Winners, that receive the money.
Marshall-Gunn’s conviction and prison sentence prompted a news release from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, but state law doesn’t list Medicaid fraud as an offense that would prevent employment at private schools. Reached by phone, Marshall-Gunn declined to comment.
Under Florida law, it’s up to school principals to certify that their staffs have clean records.
The Florida Department of Education doesn’t check private school teachers’ backgrounds unless prompted to do so by a complaint or if the school is one of the tiny number the department visits each year. In the fall, it visited 23 of out the roughly 2,000 that take vouchers. Instead, the department accepts signed letters from school principals, who promise all their staff members have passed required background investigations.
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