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Under proposed partnership, business community would help Pinellas school district cut costs



Superintendent Julie Janssen has been working with the Pinellas Education Foundation on a potential partnership with the business community that they hope will allow the district to cut waste and reduce costs. The idea includes use of a facilitator who would periodically hold meetings with district staff, business folks, community members, teachers and others.

The purpose: To “collaboratively discuss and report the possible cost saving and/or revenue measures to the Pinellas Superintendent and School Board to review for consideration now and in the future,” says a draft report Janssen sent to school board members via the latest Friday Update newsletter. “The results of these meetings may suggest specific Budgetary or Innovative ideas for Superintendent and School Board consideration in order to increase revenues, decrease waste, reduce costs and increase reserves for classroom, teacher and/or student needs through school year 2016 and beyond.”

The report, attached below, lists 34 areas for possible review. Among them:

* having administrators teach one or two periods

* considering a pilot program that would replace one assistant principal at each secondary school with an “MBA/Ed Leadership degree administrator”

* outsourcing maintenance labor

* encouraging secondary students tao take more virtual classes

* marketing renewal of the Penny for Pinellas program

Here’s the Friday Update item on the project:

Superintendent unveils draft plan for business partner collaboration

Included with this update, please find a document titled “PEF Focus Working Group,” which is being sent to you at Dr. Janssen’s request. The report is a draft compiled by members of the Pinellas Education Foundation and reflects preliminary efforts spearheaded by the Superintendent to form a partnership between the district and members of the business community. The partnership’s objective, as stated in the document, is “to provide cost effective savings, responsive to taxpayers and sensitive to employees in search of new budgetary and innovative recommendations for revenue and educational cost savings to enhance student educational needs in the classroom.” The focus group’s way of work would involve formation of six committees: management structures; personnel systems and benefits; facilities maintenance and operations; facilities construction and renovation; transportation and fleet maintenance; and cost control systems. Areas for “possible budgeting or innovation review” would include alignment of district staff to support school principals; proposing a pilot program to replace one assistant principal with an MBA/educational leadership degree administrator at each secondary school; and encouraging secondary students to take classes via Florida Virtual School.  Members of the education foundation will be contacting board members to schedule one-on-one meetings to explore the idea of the partnership and to discuss a two-hour “multi committee meetings agenda.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 9:18am]


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