Pinellas politicians: We want more fundamental high schools
St. Petersburg Mayor Elect Bill Foster (above left), Pinellas County Commissioners Ken Welch (above right) and Nancy Bostock, Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers, Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris and St. Petersburg City Councilmember Wengay Newton are all featured on a new handout that members of the Fundamental Schools Advocacy Network passed out at this morning's school board meeting - and all of them are saying they want more fundamental high schools in Pinellas.
"Additional fundamental high school programs will increase access, raise student achievement and give exciting choices to families," Foster is quoted as saying.
"Osceola (Fundamental High) had double the number of applications than openings and students from both northen and southern parts of the county would benefit from a fundamental school close to home," Eggers says.
About 20 FAN members attended the meeting, and several speakers urged the board to move now so additional fundamental high school seats can be in place by fall 2010.
The board will discuss the issue in more detail at next Tuesday's workshop. But this recent email from deputy superintendent Jim Madden to some fundamental supporters suggests timing is not on their side.
"When adding new programs at the high school level, all schools are impacted if the programs are to be open to all students in the county," Madden writes. "It would necessitate a total rezoning of all high school zones as we know them today. Rezoning is a process that needs extensive prior planning as program locations are determined over a longer period of time."
UPDATE: This presentation lays out FAN's case.