Wednesday, April 25, 2018


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.

Some students and parents are upset that the ram mascot logo was removed from Ridgewood High School's gym floor before the end of the year, when the school shuts down. JEFFREY S. SOLOCHECK | Times

Converting Ridgewood High generates excitement, dismay

NEW PORT RICHEY — Chris Dunning is a bundle of energy as he greets families to Wendell Krinn Technical High School’s first open house.He talks rapid fire about the opportunities to earn college credits and gain career training while also...
Published: 04/25/18

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...
Published: 04/24/18

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...
Published: 04/17/18
The Florida Legislature set aside $9.7 million this year for a new program that offers $500 scholarships for tutoring or educational materials for students who score below Level 3 on the state's third- and fourth-grade reading tests.

New Florida scholarship aims to boost third-grade readers

Third grader Gavin Kaechele’s mom, Laryssa, knew something was up when the 9-year-old used the word "invalidate" while preparing to take the Florida Standards Assessments last week."He said, ‘If I fidget in my chair, it could invalidate my...
Published: 04/14/18
Melissa Alexander of Magnolia Estates asks questions about a proposed school boundary rezoning during a Pasco County School Board public hearing. In all, 23 residents spoke at the April 10, 2018, hearing.

Pasco parents express frustrations as school rezoning forges ahead

Two years into the debate, little new remained to be said about Pasco County’s west-side school attendance zones during a Tuesday public hearing. Twenty-three residents spoke at the 5 p.m. event — a number perhaps dampened by rain and...
Published: 04/11/18
Graduation enhancement teacher Judy Scavino, left,  discusses grades with Sunlake High School junior Norman Fizi, 16, center, and senior Gabriel Blume, 18, during her Personal Career and School Development elective course at the school in Land O'Lakes, Fla., on April 2. Scavino works with dozens of seniors and juniors to make up credits they need to finish high school.  ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times

Personal relationships key in getting seniors to graduation goal

LAND O’ LAKES — Two months before graduation, Kayla Peña had yet to earn the ninth-grade English course credit required for her diploma."Freshman year, I was more focused on cheering than school," the 18-year-old senior explained. "The classes...
Published: 04/11/18

Choice closed into half of Pasco County schools

Capacity concerns have led the Pasco County school district to turn down student choice requests into 42 campuses for the 2018-19 academic year. That’s three more than a year ago.But a handful of students who meet specific criteria may be...
Updated one month ago

Pasco County schools wants your ideas for improvement

Forget the suggestion box in the front office.The Pasco County school district has sent out an online all-call to schools, cities, civic groups and other entities, asking for ideas for how it can do better.ThoughtExchange went live...
Updated one month ago

Pasco schools impose hiring freeze, with exceptions

Facing tight finances, as well as some involuntary employee transfers, the Pasco County school district implemented a hiring freeze upon reopening after spring break."Anything they had in progress, or any offer they made prior to us leaving,...
Updated one month ago
Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning leads a School Board workshop focusing on school grades Tuesday (8/2/16) at the district office. Improving academic achievement is Browning's top goal for his new term.

Some Pasco neighborhoods would get a reprieve on school rezoning

Citing community input from a recent workshop, Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning has revamped a proposal to alter attendance zones for west-side middle and high schools.His new recommendation, issued Tuesday, eliminates part of the plan...
Updated one month ago