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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Online Pasco budget town hall meeting outdraws face-to-face sessions

The Pasco County School Board turned to the internet Wednesday evening for its first interactive online budget town hall meeting.

More than 350 people logged in to listen. That's more than three times the number of people who attended the board's two live budget sessions held May 22 and May 28, combined.

"For the first time out of the gate, I thought it was fine," superintendent Kurt Browning told the Gradebook, noting that he did not have numbers for viewers on the district cable television station. "We're probably going to use that medium a little bit more. We have that PETV channel that we're not using."

Feedback from viewers was mostly positive, with commenters on the district Facebook page praising the idea and the format. At least one respondent on the district YouTube page added that the information was useful and the method made it possible to listen when he otherwise was unable to attend.

The board has one more town hall meeting scheduled for tonight at River Ridge High School. Afterward, Browning said, the administration will review its budget ideas to determine what balancing recommendations it will propose. He said he was not keen on many of the cutting possibilities brought forth, and so more number crunching might be the key.

Maybe the district doesn't need an additional $3.5 million for employee raises, for instance. Perhaps more funds will become available as the district closes out its books for 2012-13.

If you want to see the archived online budget town hall meeting, you can view it here. The board's next budget conversation is planned at a Tuesday morning workshop.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 10:23am]


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