Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando School Board approves reorganization plan

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board this week gave superintendent Lori Romano the go-ahead to reorganize the district, a move she said is designed to improve efficiency and better align it to its objectives.

One big thing the board didn't do in giving it their blessing: Commit to funding any of the new requested positions.

The plan, which appeared before board members for the first time at Tuesday's workshop, was approved later that evening by a 4-1 vote. School Board member Cynthia Moore was the lone dissenter.

The plan substantially alters the look of the district, moving or merging departments, changing staff titles and creating a host of new positions. As a result, the district would lose two director-level positions — one in student services and one in facilities — for a savings of roughly $175,000.

Romano proposed using the savings to update eight positions at a total cost of about $58,000.

The remaining money — about $117,000 — can be used to help cover some 20 new positions, which range from a new investigator to a communication and PR coordinator. The new posts that aren't funded will remain vacant until the district finds money to pay for them.

"As funding comes, so do the positions," said School Board member Matt Foreman. "It's creating the structure — you fill it in over time if finances improve. If that doesn't occur… it essentially maintains status quo."

It would cost about $1.1 million to fund all of the new positions, plus an additional $160,000 for health insurance.

Hernando officials have long argued the district staff is undersized compared with others of similar size, making it difficult to give adequate support.

"I agree with the structure," said School Board member Dianne Bonfield. "I think it's very sensible and logical and well thought out."

Board members Moore and John Sweeney had more questions about the plan at Tuesday's workshop. While Sweeney voted for it, he said he would have liked to have seen more information.

Moore felt the same way.

"Until I get some more information, some job descriptions — then I can't vote for it," she said Tuesday night. "The plan overall was okay."

In the proposed structure, Romano renames the assistant superintendent positions and gives them direct supervision of different departments. Unlike the current organization, one assistant superintendent would be in charge of all of the district's operations — everything from human resources to transportation to maintenance to investigations. The other will be in charge of all of the district's academic services.

Many departments would also merge, with the proposal calling for the elimination of stand-alone departments for technology, maintenance, facilities, exceptional student education and student services.

Sweeney liked the merger of technology and teaching.

"The day that we could separate technology from teaching and learning is long gone," he said.

Danny Valentine can be reached at or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Hernando School Board approves reorganization plan 03/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2014 7:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November


    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  2. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  3. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system


    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.


    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
  5. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]