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State agency agrees to hear Pasco teachers union complaint

The Florida Public Employees Relations Commission has decided to hear a teacher complaint against the way Pasco County schools have implemented their "professional learning communities."

The agency has scheduled a telephone hearing for April 28, at which both sides will be able to present their arguments.

The United School Employees of Pasco contended that the district's PLC meetings violate teachers' contract language by eating into established planning time. Superintendent Kurt Browning strongly denied the union's accusations, saying the meetings are part of his administration's planning strategy, and are reflected in the contract.

District lawyers urged the PERC to deny the union's charge, stating that the district did not engage in unfair labor practices. "Respondent denies each and every allegation not specifically admitted herein and denies each and every inference of wrongdoing, and Respondent asserts that the Charge is frivolous, unreasonable and groundless," they wrote, asking for reimbursement of legal fees.