Pinellas postpones vote on Lastinger contracts
A 4-year-old teacher training partnership between the Pinellas school district and the University of Florida was suddenly put in limbo Tuesday night as a sharply divided school board voted to postpone contract extensions until they can discuss it at a workshop next month.
Several board members raised concerns about the costs and benefits of the program, which UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning is aggressively pushing as a national model to make teachers better.
Much of the money spent on the partnership – a top priority for Superintendent Julie Janssen - goes towards master’s degrees for a handful of teachers, at roughly $20,000 a pop. So far, 34 teachers have earned the degrees. Another 124 are in the pipeline.
“There is no doubt in my mind it’s an exemplary degree,” said board member Linda Lerner. “But we cannot afford $20,000 (each) for a small group of teachers.”
The board voted unanimously to delay votes on two Lastinger contracts, totaling $1.6 million and affecting 39 schools, until Aug. 9.
A workshop date was not immediately set. Read more here.