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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Penny for Pasco project list comes up for approval



The Pasco School Board is set to do its part to get the Penny for Pasco sales tax back before voters in November.

On Tuesday, it's scheduled to approve the ballot language and a list of projects (attached below) that the district would fund with the anticipated $226 million in revenue from the 10-year tax extension.

The list includes school remodeling projects, technology improvements and upgrades for schools, and P.E. equipment replacements. School Board members have generally supported all of these items.

One line on the list has raised some eyebrows on the board, though. It's an $11.3 million expense for a new student information system. Board members expressed surprise when superintendent Heather Fiorentino first mentioned the item at a workshop earlier this spring, saying they knew nothing of the project.

Fiorentino and her staff told the board that the computer upgrade for monitoring and analyzing student records was required under Race to the Top, and that the state only recently told districts that the cost was to be borne by local districts. Yet state officials have said they announced this cost expectation in early 2011, and not mid-2012. Board members have questioned the item, but haven't yet taken it off the Penny list. Tuesday is their last chance to discuss it before they take the proposal to voters. Stay tuned to see what, if anything, they do. 

[Last modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 11:45am]


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