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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas ready to move on assignment plan



The Pinellas School Board has resolved a sticking point that threatened to delay implementation of the new student assignment plan. At a workshop this afternoon, a board majority said that all magnet and fundamental elementary schools should continue to draw students using a countywide application process.

After months of work, the board is expected to take a final vote on the plan at a special meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. at district headquarters, 301 Fourth St. SW, Largo.

Last week, a board majority pushed for a “proximity preference” system that would reserve a percentage of seats for students who live near magnet and fundamental schools. They feared those students would not have the same access to a “close-to-home” school that students in other regions of the county would have. However, superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the idea would be too difficult to implement in time for next school year.

The issue was resolved after a presentation by district administrators showing students who live near those schools already attend schools reasonably close to home. “The students (near magnets and fundamentals) live close to a number of different schools,” said Jim Madden, a top district official who helped craft the plan. “Proximity is already happening just naturally.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:30am]


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