Pasco elementary school on hold as site for Rick Scott's listening tour
Gov. Rick Scott had Wesley Chapel in Pasco County, home to House speaker Will Weatherford, on his list for his education listening tour that he announced over the weekend.
"It was going to be a roundtable discussion of what the state can do" to improve public schools, said John Abernathy, principal of Wesley Chapel Elementary, where the session was to be held on Thursday.
Scheduling conflicts got in the way, though. Abernathy said he got a call from Scott's office saying the event would be changed to an unspecified date, or perhaps canceled.
"We'd love to have him," said Abernathy, who already was organizing a sampling of families to participate in the invitation only sit-downs. "We were certainly ready for him."
Lynne Webb, president of the United School Employees of Pasco, said her group was ready for the "tour de farce" as well. She considered it little more than an effort to distract the general public from the reality of Scott's anti-public education moves such as cutting spending by $1.3 billion in his first year of service.
Webb didn't expect vocal teachers or their legal union representatives to be invited to participate. "I'm sure if we're not invited on the inside, we'll make our voices heard on the outside," she said.
The listening tour begins today in Jacksonville, and has future stops being reported in Boca Raton on Tuesday, the Orlando area on Thursday and Gainesville on Friday.