Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco County school district raises fees $3 per week for before- and after-school care

LAND O'LAKES — Parents of more than 5,200 Pasco children who attend the school district's before- and after-school care program will need to scrape up some extra cash to keep their kids enrolled.

Late Tuesday evening, the School Board increased the Place program's weekly fee by $3, to $40, beginning in the summer. The decision comes shortly after the board set two cafeteria meal price hikes.

"As things go, I hate to increase anything," board chairman Frank Parker said. "It's a shame that we have to do it, but we have to do it."

The Place program has consistently run deficits over the past several years, relying upon its reserves to make up the difference, district financial services manager John Simon told the School Board. The reserves have dwindled close to $2 million, a portion of which the board plans to use to cover general expenses next year.

A $3 weekly fee increase "will help us break even and add to (the reserves) to help with those unforeseen events," Simon said.

Place has charged $37 per child per week since 2004. This would be just the second time the board has raised the price in 11 years.

Board member Kathryn Starkey said the need for additional money seemed clear.

The timing, however, bothered her and others.

The school district has seen the numbers of families applying for free- and reduced-price meals rise along with the county's unemployment rate.

Some of the parents who have used Place in the past have removed their children already, prompting the district to examine consolidating some of the 39 locations where the program meets, superintendent Heather Fiorentino said.

Board member Joanne Hurley asked Fiorentino to report back to the board whether the price increase further depresses enrollment in the program.

"I just hope it doesn't negatively affect our parents," Hurley said.

In a related move, the board delayed action on Fiorentino's recommendation to expand the Place program into San Antonio Elementary School, where some parents have protested that adding Place would force out the Coaches' Camp that has operated successfully there this year.

Fiorentino offered the board a plethora of reasons why the camp, run by two of the school's physical education instructors, should give way to Place.

But board members did not warm to the rationale, suggesting that even if the district made a mistake in approving the Coaches' Camp, it should not punish the teachers and families who use it.

Board vice chairman Allen Altman called upon the administration to seek a compromise that might satisfy the district, the coaches, the parents and their children.

The board agreed, assigning Hurley to represent the board in the talks.

The board rescheduled its discussion on the fate of the Place program at San Antonio Elementary for May 5.

In other action, the School Board:

• Approved new job descriptions for its secondary-level literacy coaches. The change will require several teachers to reapply for their jobs. Fiorentino said the new descriptions will help the district qualify for federal funding for the positions, which otherwise might be eliminated. The United School Employees of Pasco has raised concerns about the process and has agreed to bargaining on Monday.

• Learned the Athenian Academy charter school is several months behind in seeking a contract renewal with the school district.

• Heard the district is looking into changing some school start and end times by 10 minutes to save about $600,000.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at

Pasco County school district raises fees $3 per week for before- and after-school care 04/22/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)


    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  3. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, activate Alex Cobb


    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  4. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.