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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco school district officials pore over which positions to cut

Pasco school district administrators are spending much of Tuesday behind closed doors, trying to finalize which positions they will eliminate from the payroll for 2012-13.

Today's the deadline to make the list, in order to get the proposal before the School Board at its June 5 meeting -- the last one it will have before employees' current contract ends two days later.

Teachers in core curriculum courses have the best chance of avoiding the axe, as the district is committed to meeting state class size rules next year in order to limit its fines for missing the mark this past October. But that doesn't mean all teaching spots will be safe.

Assistant superintendent-secondary Tina Tiede said last week that she expects some high school elective positions might get dropped, with teachers in them moved to core courses if their certification matches. The electives, which don't fall under class size rules, would likely grow. "I am going to look at our clerical areas and I am going to look at our support areas," Tiede also told the School Board during a workshop. "Without identifying particular positions, those are two areas we will look at, as we have done every year."

At the elementary level, positions at risk could involve special education support for students in the mainstream classrooms, assistant superintendent-elementary David Scanga said. "Wevhave to work with principals to see what they might be able to live without," Scanga said.

The officials said they did not expect to see any more cuts to media or instructional technology specialists, who were reduced a year ago. They also signaled they would continue to look for ways to transfer educators who aren't working directly with students back into classrooms as possible, along the lines of a United School Employees of Pasco suggestion.

In all, about 82 school-based positions are projected to be eliminated. A list should be available later in the day, although there's been talk that it might be incomplete. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 12:24pm]


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