Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Education

Pasco School Board improving relations with area governments

For years, the adjectives most often applied to relations between the Pasco County School District and area governments were ones like "frosty" and "unfriendly."

District and county leaders fought over issues big and small, usually refusing to yield much, compromising on little.

What a difference new leadership makes.

District assistant superintendent Ray Gadd, who has served in the administrations of the past three superintendents, has sat across the table from several sets of county and city leaders. At the Pasco County School Board's most recent meeting, Gadd spent nearly 10 minutes heaping praise on the latest set of his public service compatriots.

First, he applauded Sheriff Chris Nocco for his office's efforts to stop drivers from blasting past school buses with their stop arms extended and lights flashing. Gadd said Nocco's office has worked with the district on a multitude of issues, mostly outside of the public's direct notice, to ensure school and student safety.

He then turned to the County Commission and its administrator, Michele Baker, cheering their open, transparent and easy-going manner in dealing with previously difficult issues. The district and county have collaborated on several projects, such as a joint-use development at Starkey Ranch, and Gadd said he couldn't remember such work ever going that smoothly.

The enthusiasm went beyond the county level, too.

Gadd reminded the School Board that Steve Spina had returned as Zephryhills city manager, and he talked about how well the city and district were getting along in land use discussions for the district's Hercules property, which had proven contentious prior to Spina's appointment.

Board members expressed their pleasure and said they look forward to using a new set of descriptions, such as "cooperative" and "amicable," to characterize their interactions going forward.

• • •

Employee contract negotiations for 2014-15 began June 16, and superintendent Kurt Browning said his goal is to "do everything we can to support our teachers in the classroom."

Early talks didn't tackle big issues, such as salary and insurance benefits. If there was to be a controversy, it might come over the United School Employees of Pasco's proposal to give year-round school-related personnel an unpaid day off for July 4 so they could have the full week of paid vacation at Thanksgiving.

The administration took the idea under consideration for possible agreement or a counterproposal.

If you're interested in tracking the negotiations, the district has made it easier to follow along. It has posted a page on its website with all the meeting dates, including links to all the proposals passed at the table by both sides.

You can find the information atpasco.k12.fl.us/er/contracts/.

Browning has said he hopes to have the terms settled as close as possible to when teachers return to school Aug. 11.

Have ideas for us to consider? Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 909-4614.

Comments
Pasco SRO under investigation after video shows takedown of student

Pasco SRO under investigation after video shows takedown of student

LAND O’LAKES — An investigation continues after a video surfaced on Tuesday that shows a Sunlake High School school resource officer wrestling a female student to the ground while taking her into custody, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Offic...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

Hillsborough’s Eakins gets high praise for finances, mixed reviews on other issues in his annual School Board evaluations

TAMPA — Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins is proud of his record in boosting high school graduation rates and inroads he has made in marketing the nation’s eight largest school district.His seven bosses on the School Board...
Published: 04/25/18
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions. They also said that as a result of his actions, he wil...
Updated: 3 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Battle continues over west Pasco school rezoning

Jim Stanley does not give up without a fight.The west Pasco County parent who brought down the school district’s 2017 attendance zone revisions, leading the administration to change its procedures along the way, has filed a new challenge to the syst...
Published: 04/24/18
Crews Lake eighth-grader already capable musician

Crews Lake eighth-grader already capable musician

SPRING HILL — Rose Dodd, 2 months old, couldn’t yet grasp a rattle, but there she was years ago at hand-bell choir practice at Keystone United Methodist Church in Odessa.Rose, 14, a Crews Lakes Middle School eighth-grader, is back at hand-bell practi...
Published: 04/24/18
Hillsborough: No way we can afford teacher raises this year

Hillsborough: No way we can afford teacher raises this year

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District is in bad financial shape and its reputation for sound management is perhaps undeserved, the district’s own fiscal team testified Monday in a hearing concerning teacher salaries.The district "made finan...
Published: 04/23/18

School news for April 27

School Calendar• May 17-20: High school graduations• May 25: Last day of school for studentsBriefs• School Safety Town Hall Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 2 at River Ridge Middle/High, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey and 6 to 8 p....
Published: 04/23/18
A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

A Florida school shooting suspect charged with terrorism says ‘sorry’ to injured student

The young man in a white jail jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled, looked past the throng of reporters pointing microphones toward his face, barely opening his mouth as he answered questions."I shot through the door," he said, looking at a female repor...
Published: 04/21/18
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18