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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

A shot across the bow in Pasco's superintendent race



Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino hasn't drawn a top-tier opponent in her reelection bid yet.

You might not be able to tell that with a letter to the Tampa Bay Times that ran this morning.

Former assistant superintendent Ray Gadd, considered one of two possible challengers to Fiorentino, blasted the incumbent for her recent decision to explore creating magnet schools in Pasco County. He wrote, in part:

"We have a couple career academies that seem to be making some good progress but they remain unavailable to kids across the county. Nor do we have anything that remotely approximates some of the magnet schools you will find in the Tampa Bay area such as the East Lake High School Engineering Academy. We have had the capital and intellectual resources to explore these options for years but have done very little.

"Now, we have an election looming and suddenly the superintendent realizes parents want to be heard and want options for their children. Our relationship to parents is a very important dynamic that should be nurtured on a daily basis. It is a dynamic that involves listening, educating and mutual respect. It is not something that should only happen eight months before a political primary."

We still have no word as to whether Gadd, or former elections supervisor Kurt Browning, might jump into the race. But Browning's last day as secretary of state comes Friday, and he's said he will make an announcement soon after that. Perhaps the campaign is about to get hot. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:10pm]


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