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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco school district advertises jobs, but outsiders need not apply

103 Jobs Available! Apply Today!

In the current bleak economy, that headline on the Pasco school district's Web site sure does seem inviting.

Just one thing: The jobs are intended only for people who already work for the district.

"It's referring to internal candidates," assistant superintendent Ruth Reilly told the Gradebook, adding that the district is not trying to mislead people, but rather reassure current displaced employees that it has jobs for them.

Pasco, which has had a hiring freeze for a year, is still working to place employees who are being involuntarily transferred. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino has said the process could take the whole summer.

She sent a letter to all staff members earlier this week explaining the full situation. To see it, read on.

From: Heather Fiorentino <>
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 14:14:13 -0400
To: All Staff Members <>
Conversation: Budget Update
Subject: Budget Update

Dear Staff,

I am aware that rumors have been circulating throughout the District.  To provide as much clarification as possible, I wanted to provide you with an update on our budget.  When all factors are considered, the District is expecting a significant shortfall in state/local resources for next year.  

The Employee Budget Committee concluded its work and made recommendations that were presented to the Board.  On May 19, 2009, the Board approved tentative allocations for the 2009-2010 school year.  These allocations reflect a rough estimate of what we believe can be funded through our current available revenue sources.  We anticipate changes as more information becomes available regarding the use of federal funding.  

Pasco will be applying to the state to receive its share of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds for the 2009-2010 school year (approximately $23 million) once the application is made available.  These will be one time, non-recurring funds for use this year.  The Legislature placed this amount into the state funding formula (FEFP) and it takes the place of funds that were once provided by the state.  

Additionally, we will receive $14.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)  IDEA funds and $10.5 million in ARRA Title I funds to be used over the next two years.  These targeted funds are also non-recurring and the normal grant requirements for each program apply.   All ARRA funds must be used to enhance the educational opportunities available to students and to save/create as many jobs as possible. There are other specific assurances that must also be met.   For additional information about the use of ARRA funds, please visit the Department of Education’s website

We are currently in the process of evaluating which positions can be enhanced to provide a greater level of service to students and improve student achievement, thus making positions available for funding through ARRA.  It is important that all instructional staff pay close attention to vacancy information and job advertisements to learn of positions that might be available throughout the District.   

I recognize that this is a difficult period for every employee in the entire District and that uncertainty can be frustrating!  Please be assured that we are working to the best of our ability within the framework we have been given to ensure that we enhance educational opportunities, while saving/creating jobs.  This is a time consuming process, but necessary in order to maximize resources.  Unfortunately, it is likely that this process will not be finalized before the end of the school year and will continue into the summer.  Keep in mind that while a job at your current worksite may not be available, we are working to transfer employees to positions throughout the District.  The Instructional and SRP Master Contracts outline the procedures that must be followed when staff reductions at worksites are necessary.  We will continue to work with the Union on several employment issues to ensure this process is as streamlined as possible.

I hope you find this information useful.  Your understanding and flexibility throughout this difficult process is greatly appreciated.  I will be sharing additional information as it becomes available.  Thank you for your continued service to our students and District.  


Heather Fiorentino


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:25am]


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