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Media specialist debate returns to Pasco School Board

Published May 2, 2013

Pasco County school media specialists and literacy coaches will have another chance to defend their jobs on May 7, when the School Board again considers superintendent Kurt Browning's proposed school allocations for 2013-14. This time, instructional technology specialists might join the defense.

After board members asked Browning to reconsider his plan to eliminate the media specialists and literacy coaches in favor of regional media-literacy coaches, Browning quickly issued a Plan B in which he would cut all three jobs from the schools and add a single media-literacy-technology coach at every school.

The plan also calls for a revamped technology repair "geek squad" to help schools as needed.

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On Tuesday, the board will consider approving the new ITC coach job description and then whether to authorize their placement at each school, along with the elimination of the other three jobs. At least one board member has signaled his hesitation to move so quickly with the change, which is projected to save the district $4.8 million.

"I would offer that a transitional plan would be more effective, less stressful, and allow for a more comprehensive review of the plan's effectiveness," board member Steve Luikart said in a recent email to Browning and his leadership team. "Based upon my experience, we would be better served taking incremental steps rather than sprinting to a hopeful but unknown destination."

Browning included his proposal on his latest budget recommendation list even after hearing from Luikart, who told the Gradebook he remains in conversations with the administration on several spending ideas.