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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco media specialists not alone in facing elimination



Pasco County school media specialists battling a proposal to axe their jobs have some kindred spirits in Sarasota County where, perhaps not coincidentially, Pasco superintendent Kurt Browning often looks for inspiration.

The Herald-Tribune reports that Sarasota superintendent Lori White has recommended replacing all middle and high school media specialists in her district with aides, as a way to save about $600,000 a year. Sarasota got rid of its elementary school media specialists a few years ago.

At least one Sarasota School Board member has threatened to vote against White's proposed budget if the media specialist cuts remain, suggesting the move is not in students' best interest. But White has insisted that the district must make hard decisions when setting budget priorities. Sound familiar?

Pasco's proposal has not yet made it formally to the School Board, which has scheduled its first budget workshop for April 16. Board members are well aware of the idea, though, after having received a barrage of emails from media specialists and their supporters, and having listened during their March 19 meeting to more than an hour of impassioned pleas to keep the media specialists in place. So far, Browning has held firm to his suggestion. Board members have said they're seeking more information before taking a position for or against the cut.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 9:26am]


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