Pinellas County Urban League holds invite-only, press-free meeting with Pinellas school officials
The Pinellas County Urban League, community leaders and Pinellas County school district officials including superintendent Mike Grego met privately Tuesday afternoon for a roundtable discussion about black student achievement.
Watson Haynes, president and CEO of the Urban League, said the meeting was called by the group's education committee to openly speak with the school superintendent without press in the room. About three dozen people met at the Urban League's headquarters in Kenwood around 11 a.m. and finished around 1:45 p.m.
District officials and School Board member Rene Flowers talked about their plans to bridge the achievement gap between black and non-black students and improve the district's graduation rate. Haynes said the meeting would give people the opportunity to be open.
"Certainly if someone inquired and said, 'Could I come?' we wouldn’t say no," he said. And as for the press, "We would ask the people in the room if they would like the press to attend that particular meeting."
Haynes said the public did have a right to know about what was discussed during the meeting and should inquire with the Urban League about it.
He said the Urban League has its own strategic plan for education, and there may be a few more meetings between Grego and the Urban League.
"It's just a meeting between the superintendent and the people in the room," he said. "That’s what we want it to be."