Pinellas is having a last-minute workshop Thursday
*Update: The school district has deemed this a special meeting, which gives them a little latitude in providing notice to the public. Still no back-up materials online as of noon Tuesday.
The Pinellas County School Board is holding a last-minute workshop Thursday to talk about recent issues with charter schools, the district announced today.
Superintendent Mike Grego said this month that he's open to the idea of converting two troubled charter schools into district-run magnet schools, although the possibility has some complications. Windsor Preparatory Academy and East Windsor Middle Academy in St. Petersburg were issued 90-day termination notices by the district because of financial, governance and curriculum issues. Parents involved in the schools have been searching for other options because they fear their zoned county schools.
The Gradebook has asked the school district whether the workshop was advertised seven days in advance as required by state law. It's not on the school district calendar and a media advisory about the meeting went out at about 2 p.m. Back-up materials for the workshop hadn't been posted online as of 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Government agencies have some latitude when it comes to emergency meetings. It's not clear if a workshop discussion about charter schools - in which board members can't vote - counts as an emergency. But district officials would have to move fast to take over the charter schools in time for the 2016/17 school year, which starts early this year on Aug. 10.
This school district administration has made a habit of posting back-materials and even agendas at the last minute. That makes it difficult for members of the public who might want to attend the workshops or board meetings and be informed about what the School Board is discussing.