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Moore Mickens plans "not a Dade City issue," Pasco superintendent says



Word that the Pasco County's school district might relocate the programs at its history-laden Moore Mickens Education Center has riled up residents of the nearby Dade City community it serves.

The Dade City Commission has called an emergency meeting for 5:30 p.m. Monday, with the sole purpose of discussing what to do about Moore Mickens, which once housed the county's first full-time school for black children.

Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning, a longtime Dade City resident who proposed moving the school's services, said the commission can meet if it wants. "But they're going to meet without us," he told the Gradebook. "This is a school issue. It's not a Dade City issue."

Browning said the district plans to conduct a town hall meeting in the near future to tell residents what his ideas are, and to listen to feedback and ideas. "We will let them know the facts, and not these rumors that are flying through Dade City like lightning, and very little of it is true," he said, stressing that the district has no plans to raze Moore Mickens -- the most common rumor he's heard.

Before any changes take effect, Browning added, he and his team want to make sure the plans are feasible and in the best interest of students. At the same time, he continued, he had no intention of offending anyone from the Dade City area -- not the African-Americans, Hispanics or any other group.

"I live in that community," he said. "Why would I want to do that?"

The district staff plans to update the School Board about its ideas for Moore Mickens, as well as Quail Hollow and Shady Hills elementary schools, when they meet Tuesday.

[Last modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 3:12pm]


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