Miami-Dade Schools

Special education specialist fired amid scandal gets job back

A special-education specialist removed from her post long ago due to her role in a high-profile scandal was reinstated Wednesday by the Miami-Dade School Board.

Lisa Parker, fired in 2011, is to be placed as a teacher in a Miami-Dade school and receive 15 months of back pay into a trust after board members approved a settlement agreement with the district veteran. The board agreed to the settlement on consent, without comment.

Attempts to reach Parker and her attorney, Maria del Carmen Calzon, were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Parker was fired two years ago after district officials said she helped her boss falsify documents in order to secure $19,000 in McKay scholarships to pay for private school tuition at American Heritage in Plantation for her son and daughter. The supervisor, Deborah Swirsky-Nuñez, was charged in 2010 and fired by the School Board. She has pleaded not guilty to felony charges.

School Board Attorney Walter Harvey recommended the settlement following a recommendation from Administrative Law Judge Claude Arrington that Parker receive only a 30-day suspension. He said Parker “failed to comply with procedures and she made mistakes, but she did not act corruptly.”

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