Pasco, under the gun, won't be strong-armed
The Pasco County school district and county government were supposed to have a school concurrency plan in place by Feb. 1. Mandated by the state, the plan is to ensure that the school district has enough seats available or in the works for any future housing development.
Having missed the deadline, the county government is now pressing the School Board to sign off on an agreement so it can send something to the state before the end of the month. If they don't get a deal in place, the state Department of Community Affairs could refuse to approve new developments in Pasco, and the school district could lose some school construction funding.
But board attorney Dennis Alfonso and assistant superintendent Ray Gadd cautioned the School Board today that past drafts that the county has delivered have tended not to reflect agreements made during negotiations. So although the deadline has passed and penalties loom, Alfonso said, "We can't be forced to sign something that's not in our best interest."
Board vice chairman Frank Parker, speaking for the board, agreed with that assessment. The board should not approve something at the 11th hour if it doesn't meet the district's needs, he said: "We're going to make sure we do it right."