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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco superintendent reveals "Plan B" for media specialists, literacy coaches



Pasco county media specialists and literacy coaches didn't have long to celebrate.

Just two days after the School Board told the district administration to look for other ways than cutting those jobs to save nearly $5 million in spending, superintendent Kurt Browning let the staff know his "Plan B." It called for deleting the media specialists, literacy coaches and instructional technology specialists from the schools.

Those 175.5 positions would be placed back into the classroom, assistant superintendent Amelia Larson told the Gradebook. Then the district would set up an applicant pool for a new literacy-media-technology specialist job, with one spot at each school. "People can apply for that position," Larson said. "If they have the qualifications, they can get into the pool. This way, every school has a full-time person."

That's what the School Board wanted, she said, referring to keeping instructional personnel in schools. Board member Steve Luikart told the Gradebook he had not heard of this proposal, and added "it doesn't make any sense to me at all." He suggested it did not sound like what the board had asked for, and said he wanted to learn more.

As a part of this plan, which Browning originally nixed but now supports, the district would create a "geek squad" of technicians to fix technology throughout the district, a job often filled by the media and instructional technology specialists now. Larson said Plan B would save about the same amount as the first concept that the board questioned on Tuesday.

It would not, however, take the district all the way to its target of $19.5 million in cuts. "That's only one piece of the puzzle," Larson said.

Browning's top advisers spent the day discussing other possible reductions, looking at the district and school level. About 15 possibilities remain on the table, Larson said. "We're not done yet."

The administration plans to post a podcast on its latest proposal in the morning, and to release more details as they become available. Stay tuned.

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[Last modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:51pm]


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