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Pasco school district prepares Citizens Academy

The goal is to teach residents more about the district's "breadth and complexity."
 
The Pasco County School Board holds a special session May 29, 2018, to adopt west-side attendance zone changes. [Jeffrey S. Solochek]
The Pasco County School Board holds a special session May 29, 2018, to adopt west-side attendance zone changes. [Jeffrey S. Solochek]
Published July 2, 2018

Hoping residents will get a better understanding of the "breadth and complexity" of the system, the Pasco County school district is preparing to launch its first Citizens Academy.

Kurt Browning and his administrative team have proposed the idea to board members as a work in progress, saying the details need to be ironed out. But the concept follows in the path of programs such as Leadership Pasco, in which community members learn about the different aspects of county government.

They aim to get started quickly, with the first of seven tentatively scheduled monthly sessions targeted for late August.

Three would be held during the day, and include school visits. Four would take place in the evenings, and focus on the district's operations, with lessons on issues such as school choice, accountability, budgeting and planning.

Planning has been of particular interest among residents in recent months, as they have watched the district struggle to find acceptable plans to reassign students and prepare for new schools to cope with growth. The budget also has been of critical concern, with many employees raising concerns about limited funds for raises.

Board members have responded positively to the proposal.

"I love this idea!" board member Colleen Beaudoin told Browning in an email, in which she also offered to participate as needed.

Spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said if all goes according to plan, the district expects to seek applications within the next two weeks.