Krassner: Pinellas school board needs more information
Pointing to recent changes in the district's Title I program, Pinellas school board candidate Terry Krassner took a dig today at how the district gathers information, communicates with stakeholders and ultimately makes decisions.
"I guess I'm kind of amazed at how much they (school board members) don't get in the way of information," Krassner, the former principal at Westgate Elementary, a Title I school, said during an interview with the St. Petersburg Times editorial board. Dividing the Title I pie with middle and high schools "was going to really impact elementary schools. And yet they didn't act like it was going to."
"If you didn't have someone with that background knowledge, or hear from people who were in it currently, school board members are going to get what they're hearing right there unless they really go search things out," she continued. "I think I've always been approachable and I think people would continue to seek me out to let know the bottom line on individual, major decisions. And I would seek the stakeholders out, too."
In response to a question, Krassner said she did not know if she would have voted to extend the contract for Superintendent Julie Janssen, but added that the school board "probably needs to give more direction."
"I don't feel like I really have enough information" to say yea or nay, Krassner said. "I know it sounds like I'm skating the issue. I would have had to have a lot more dialogue and a lot more goal setting up front to make sure we were all on the same page."
"I wanted Julie as our superintendent from the get-go ... it was tough as a principal with (former superintendent) Wilcox," Krassner continued. "I didn't want to take a chance on someone from the outside ... I know she has the ability to be a good, strong superintendent. I believe she just needs more guidance."