St. Pete's Promise: new name for old programs?
The City of St. Petersburg, the Pinellas Education Foundation and the Pinellas County School District are unveiling a new partnership Friday called St. Pete's Promise.
The new initiative promises to target the achievement gap by turning at-risk students into "students with promise" by "providing our community with opportunities to invest in our schools, our teachers and our children."
But most of the programs listed on the website have existed in the community for some time. The programs include: the Mayor's Mentors & More; Take Stock in Children; the Top Apple awards; the Corporate Partners program; and opportunities for students to intern with the city. A spokeswoman for the foundation said St. Pete's Promise will put all of those programs under one umbrella.
She also promised that more details about the program will be available at a press conference Friday.
Mayor Bill Foster, Superintendent Mike Grego and Foundation Chairman Jim Myers will be on hand Friday to formally announce the program. Foster appears to have taken the lead on it. The press conference is at City Hall and Foster plans to present a check from city employees to the foundation. Grego told the School Board Tuesday that he would be there, but didn't have all of the details about it.
With the primary election about three weeks away, Foster critics might be a bit skeptical about the timing of the announcement. Foster is facing a re-election battle against Kathleen Ford and Rick Kriseman, and the Pinellas County Classroom Teachers Association has endorsed Kriseman.