Krassner and Williams: Hold off on Jamerson Elementary decision
New Pinellas school board members Terry Krassner and Lew Williams wasted no time in making their presence felt two weeks ago when they opposed the superintendent's plan on the Lakeview/Gulfport merger. Now they're raising concerns about the board's direction on Jamerson Elementary's status as a de facto feeder for Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School.
A majority of board members on Monday directed Julie Janssen to end the practice, which has been in place for several years. But Krassner and Williams told The Gradebook today that the change should be postponed until Jamerson parents - who say they were blindsided - can be consulted.
"I want families to have more of a heads up," Krassner said. "And if it's something that's working well, I wouldn't want to destroy any of that. I know we need more time to investigate."
Williams said he's in the process of gathering more information about the issue, and that his position could change based on what he finds. But based on what he knows now, he said, he favors a delay. "I want them to hold off until we hear those parents out," he said. "What was that promise? And how can we take it out without going back (on the promise)?"
Both members also said they were concerned about how the decision was made.
Making such a change without talking with stakeholders, Williams said, is "not the way of work I want us to do as a system, as a school board."