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Pasco school district hiring freeze thaws — a little

LAND O'LAKES — The Pasco County School District imposed a temporary hiring freeze in early February, largely to keep jobs available for employees who might lose positions when schools consolidate during renovations next year. Shortly after, though, the district continued to hire into vacancies and create new ones, such as an equity manager.

Some asked why. Employee relations director Kevin Shibley went on to clarify the freeze in a recent memo to all hiring supervisors in the district.

One thing he made clear is that any teachers hired from outside the district into open classroom teaching slots will be given short-term contracts and automatically non-renewed at the end of the academic year. Teachers from inside the district who take the jobs now also could be subject to involuntary transfers at the end of the year.

"Please make sure any existing Pasco teacher you make an offer to understands the potential implications of transferring at this point in time," Shibley wrote in the memo.

He also set forth that other positions deemed critical needs could be filled with the permission of district-level administrators and that coaching positions can be filled as usual.

The district expects to lose some positions in the fall, when it plans to move Shady Hills Elementary students onto the Crews Lake Middle campus and divide Quail Hollow Elementary students between nearby Wesley Chapel and Watergrass elementary schools. That shuffling is expected to be temporary, to clear the Shady Hills and Quail Hollow campuses for major renovations to their 1970s-era buildings.

Officials are also evaluating ways to deal with an expected $23 million budget shortfall in 2013-14, so they didn't want to fill positions only to find themselves cutting jobs later.

Still, when superintendent Kurt Browning announced the freeze last month, he said it wasn't absolute.

"It doesn't mean we're not hiring," he told the Times then. "Now we're doing everything individually."

Pasco school district hiring freeze thaws — a little 02/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:37pm]
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