Friday, April 20, 2018
Education

Pasco School Board balks at cost of consultant to develop strategic plan

LAND O'LAKES — A proposal to spend $157,000 for a new Pasco County school district strategic plan has run into resistance.

School Board members have balked at the cost, which would go to a Tampa consulting firm. They also questioned the need to hire a company to do the work that district staff did before.

"We need a lot more information and board involvement," chairwoman Alison Crumbley said. "Before we approve something of that size in the budget, there needs to be justification."

Board member concerns prompted superintendent Kurt Browning to pull his recommendation from consideration at Tuesday's board meeting.

"We are in agreement that we will schedule this issue for a board workshop on April 15," Browning said.

That should give the administration time to explain its thought process for replacing the plan that expired in 2013.

Browning's idea is to create a model that helps leaders design easily measured annual operating plans connected to spending priorities. Future savings might offset the initial expense, according to documents provided to the board.

He asked the board to hire Tampa-based Transpro Consulting, run by the former head of a New York transportation authority.

No other firms were brought forth for consideration.

Board members did not question the need for a strategic plan. But they did challenge the approach.

"I want to make sure that the strategic plan is a collaboration between the administration and the School Board," said Joanne Hurley, who represented the board on the most recent planning effort. "I think a strategic plan is such a major part of what this board does in setting the tone for the district. We need to have input."

Vice chairman Steve Luikart noted that the district has many in-house experts and wondered why they would not be used instead of outside consultants.

Crumbley shared that concern, and said that was part of her rationale behind asking Browning for a delay.

Browning said he hoped to provide enough details so the board can vote at its next meeting.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE — A gunman who carried a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire Friday in a Florida high school, wounding one student before he was arrested on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said. It...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins is preparing to reorganize his cabinet — for the third time since 2015 — in an effort to coordinate programs at the district’s highest-needs schools.In an interview this week, Eakins descr...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways. In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall f...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Published: 04/19/18
Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

Pinellas to enlist Sandy Hook group in its quest for safer schools

LARGO — Starting soon, Pinellas County public schools could be using a nationwide violence prevention program founded by families of those killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012.The nonprofit group Sandy Hook Promise, with ...
Published: 04/19/18

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teacher aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer p...
Published: 04/18/18
After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

After Parkland, these students became activists. Will their movement last?

TAMPA — Sam Sharf’s parents thought he had the best position on the Plant High School football team. As back-up quarterback, he could impress the girls but rarely played enough to get hurt.Now a junior, Sharf is off the team so he can focus his energ...
Published: 04/18/18

Gannon University’s Ruskin growth includes $21 million addition

RUSKIN — Gannon University is experiencing some serious growing pains and as a result, SouthShore is going to see a big change in the landscape. When it opened its doors in 2015 as a satellite campus for its home school in Erie, Pa., Gannon occupied ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Enrollment growth anticipated for Pasco County charter schools, with two more to open in the fall

Most of Pasco County’s more established charter schools expect to see their student population remain stable in 2018-19.Even so, enrollment in the county’s charter schools is expected to grow by about 1,100 children — or nearly 25 percent — in the fa...
Published: 04/17/18