Friday, December 15, 2017


Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Jeffrey S. Solochek, Times Staff Writer

Jeffrey S. Solochek has reported about Florida's public education system since the first school tried to return recognition funds from Jeb Bush's then-new A-Plus plan. Currently based in Pasco County, he covers state, regional and local education issues for the Tampa Bay Times both in print and online, including weekly podcasts and whatever new formats he can figure out. Follow on Twitter @jeffsolochek.

Pasco school district, employees reach contract agreement

The raises for Pasco County school district employees aren’t as high as anyone would like, but they’re now part of a signed tentative contract deal reached just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.If ratified by the staff and the School Board, the...
Published: 12/13/17

Proposal to rollback early learning programs could bring Citrus into Pasco-Hernando coalition

Some Florida lawmakers have not hidden their desire to scale back the statewide number of early learning coalitions that oversee child care and preschool programs, including Voluntary Prekindergarten.The state Office of Early Learning has now...
Published: 12/13/17
Associate professor of biology Caitlin Gille is helping to organize union representation for Pasco-Hernando State College full-time faculty.  (Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Gille)

Pasco-Hernando State College faculty to consider unionizing

Caitlin Gille grew up in a union household in Wisconsin, where her mom was a long-time teacher in the small city of Wauwatosa, just west of Milwaukee.She was accustomed to seeing educators advocating for their working conditions and pay, having...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Pasco report cards may come out later for second quarter

Pasco County students are supposed to get their second quarter report cards on Jan. 16.The only problem is, the School Board recently rejected a proposed change to the district’s testing schedule that would have allowed that date to work. Board...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/06/17
River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County's 2018 Outstanding Senior.

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team...
Updated one month ago
Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, hold contract talks Nov. 9, 2017, with district negotiators. The sides are nearing an agreement. [Jeffrey S. Solochek | Times]

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable...
Updated one month ago
In a letter to Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning (pictured), the Florida Department of Education accepted the Pasco district's findings that concerns about Trinity Oaks Elementary's 2017 fourth-grade math tests were unfounded. [Times file photo]

Pasco school district proposes future changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones

Plans to erase the attendance boundaries for Ridgewood High School have grabbed all the attention.But the Pasco County school district also has proposed changes to west-side elementary and middle school zones for consideration this...
Updated one month ago
Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools walk out to protest teacher wage freezes

Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools walk out to protest teacher wage freezes

TAMPA — A protest over teacher pay that began with some 15 students early this week mushroomed into much larger movement Wednesday as hundreds of Hillsborough County high school students from eight campuses briefly walked out of their...
Updated one month ago
Ridgewood High School no longer will be a traditional high school. It will reopen next fall as a magnet technical school, the Pasco School Board decided on Tuesday.

Ridgewood High to be converted to technical school, Pasco board decides

LAND O’LAKES — Say goodbye to Ridgewood High School as you know it.Next fall, the school, in New Port Richey, will focus on technical and career education. Its attendance zones will be erased, its students reassigned to nearby traditional high...
Updated one month ago
BRENDAN FITTERER | TimesThe new system for redrawing school boundaries in Pasco will begin with district planners preparing maps that will be considered by superintendent Kurt Browning, shown here.

School district changes process for redrawing school boundaries

A prolonged legal battle with some dissatisfied parents has prompted the Pasco County School District to revamp its process for redrawing school attendance boundaries.Parents still will have opportunities to speak their mind on any proposals...
Updated one month ago