Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Superintendent considers changes in district-level operations

Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning is looking into changing the way the district office does business.

He's targeting the regional structure he put in place shortly after taking office four years ago. He divided the district into four regions and assigned each an area superintendent and a staff of literacy coaches, counselors and other specialists aimed at providing targeted support.

"From my vantage point, the regional model has served us well for administrative and managerial tasks but may have been detrimental to our goal of providing differential supports where they are most needed," Browning told regional team members in an email just before Thanksgiving break.

When first running for office, Browning criticized former superintendent Heather Fiorentino's administration for taking a "cookie-cutter approach" to all schools, regardless of need. He justified his restructuring efforts as an attempt to refocus the district office to back up school-based instruction.

Now, he is contemplating a reorganization of his leadership team along with the regional model. Other area districts, including Hillsborough and Pinellas, recently have added high-level positions to focus on the performance of struggling schools and minority students.

Browning has not released details of his plan. He has asked the staff to meet with him Dec. 15 to discuss a possible new structure and realignment of work. He stressed that no workers are slated to lose their jobs.

JOINT USE: For years, Pasco County school and county government leaders have talked about how to make better use of the public education and recreation facilities throughout the community.

A kickball field at Connerton Elementary School was the first foray. Talk has swirled since 2013 of a joint library-park complex with a K-8 school in the Starkey Ranch subdivision.

In November, the two agencies took steps to formalize such projects with a "master agreement" for joint use of public property. The School Board approved the document on Nov. 22, two weeks after the County Commission adopted it.

The agreement sets forth roles and responsibilities each government would assume when they establish such projects, which are not uncommon in other counties. But it does not get into specific deals.

"Every situation where we do it would be unique and require a board and commission sub-agreement," said deputy superintendent Ray Gadd, a key proponent of the idea.

LEADERSHIP: Dade City insurance executive Allen Altman is again chairman of the Pasco County School Board.

Altman, elected to his third term without opposition in 2014, was vice chairman for the past year. The board traditionally promotes the vice chairperson to the top post, allowing all members to cycle through the leadership role.

Members also selected Cynthia Armstrong, a Trinity-area real estate agent, as vice chairwoman. Armstrong has served on the board since 2010.

The board reorganized on Nov. 22, after swearing in its first new member in six years. Colleen Beaudoin, a University of Tampa instructor, won the District 2 seat vacated by outgoing Chairwoman Joanne Hurley, who retired after two terms.

The vote on the positions was unanimous and came without discussion.

Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at (813) 909-4614 or Follow @jeffsolochek.

Superintendent considers changes in district-level operations 11/28/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 4:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Study: States with legalized marijuana have more car crash claims


    DENVER — A recent insurance study links increased car crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

    A close-up of a flowering marijuana plant in the production room of Modern Health Concepts' greenhouse on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. [C.M. Guerrero | Miami Herald/TNS]
  2. Black lawmaker: I was called 'monkey' at protest to change Confederate street signs


    A black state legislator says he was called a "nigger" and a "monkey" Wednesday by pro-Confederates who want Hollywood to keep three roads named after Confederate generals, including one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Rep. Shevrin Jones.
  3. Senate GOP set to release health-care bill (w/video)


    WASHINGTON -— Senate Republicans on Thursday plan to release a health-care bill that would curtail federal Medicaid funding, repeal taxes on the wealthy and eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood as part of an effort to fulfill a years-long promise to undo Barack Obama's signature health-care law.

    From left, Uplift Executive Director Heidi Mansir, of Gardiner, Maine, former West Virginia State Rep. Denise Campbell, Elkins, W. Va., University of Alaska-Anchorage student Moira Pyhala of Soldotna, Alaska, and National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson appear before Democratic senators holding a hearing about how the GOP health care bill could hurt rural Americans, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to push for a vote next week on the legislation, which would eliminate much of Obama's 2010 overhaul and leave government with a diminished role in providing coverage and helping people afford it. [Associated Press]
  4. Pasco fire station reopens after hundreds of bats forced crews out

    Human Interest

    Fire crews have returned to a Hudson fire station nearly two weeks after they were forced out by possibly thousands of bats.

    Fire crews returned to Station 39 in Hudson on June 21, 2017, nearly twoo weeks after the building was closed due to a rat infestation. [Times files]
  5. Church of England head says it 'colluded with' sex abuse


    LONDON — The Church of England "colluded" with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one of its former bishops, the head of the church said Thursday.