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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Treat charter schools like any other public school, Pasco deputy superintendent tells district staff



Pasco County schools deputy superintendent Ray Gadd had a blunt message for district staff: Don't treat charter schools as if they're some alien entity undeserving of the administration's time and attention.

"Our charter schools are just that - our charter schools," Gadd wrote in a recent memo to the administrative team. "The children who attend these schools are our children. I consider their educational needs to be equally as important as those of a child attending school in the non-charter public school setting. I understand that charter school issues are sometimes the source of political debate and wrangling, but this is not the concern of the children."

He told the staff they don't need special permission to talk to charter school workers, answer questions and provide assistance. This should be done with all the professional courtesy afforded to people working for Pasco and any other school district, he added.

Gadd said he penned the note after hearing too much "background noise" that district workers didn't know whether they had permission to help charter schools without going through channels, despite superintendent Kurt Browning's attempts to eliminate any barriers that might have existed previously. The district has had a prickly relationship with charters over the years, with some criticism that it is unfriendly to them.

"I just wanted to, as a system, make sure it was crystal clear," Gadd told the Gradebook. "At the end of the day ... those kids are public school children. Anything we do to help the charter schools helps those children."

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:37am]


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