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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco's "schools of innovation" magnet ideas on hold for 2012-13

In announcing her reelection bid, Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino said she wanted to offer parents more school options such as magnets.

Within months, 10 elementary schools had made proposals, with some educators saying they hoped to be started as early as the fall. Facing another round of multimillion-dollar budget cuts, though, district leaders last week acknowledged that the "schools of innovation" concept won't launch any time soon.

While reviewing staffing allocations Friday, School Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley pointedly asked staff how many teachers were included in the formula to support these attractor programs, and what the associated cost would be.

"Right now it is zero," responded David Scanga, assistant superintendent-elementary. "We did not add a single allocation to any of those schools based on that."

The school teams that are working on proposals understand that the board and administration support the concepts they're promoting, Scanga said. But they also see that the timing isn't right financially to jump-start a new program. So instead they'll seek grant funding to plan for future years, and possibly build a foundation for their vision within existing resources.

"So basically you have told them it's not going to be an August implementation?" Hurley said.

"Yes," Scanga said. "Except for on their own."

[Last modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 7:29am]


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