Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pasco district’s dispute resolution office takes step backward

Plans to create a clearinghouse to handle complaints about Pasco County schools have not come to fruition as officials initially planned.

The most recent setback: Hilda Martin, who left the principalship of Marlowe Elementary in the spring to lead the new division, is taking an assistant principal post at Gulf High School.

Martin had only begun to investigate how the dispute resolution office would operate, and what types of issues it would handle.

"Returning to school based leadership was a big motivator and having the opportunity to grow in a new level … was exciting," Martin said via email about her decision, which goes to the School Board on Tuesday for approval.

Her transfer leaves the dispute resolution concept in limbo, with no staff or complete procedures in place. For the time being, parents and others are to continue filing complaints with the school principals, and then to appropriate assistant superintendents if they are dissatisfied with the results.

Superintendent Kurt Browning said in introducing the idea that he wanted to create a system through which parents and others could go to a centralized office for assistance, without having to send concerns directly to him. He also suggested the effort would help create a consistency in responses.

His staff made the proposal based on a system in place in Broward County schools.

The Pasco district continues to evaluate the model, and seek people to operate it, spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.

Related coverage: Who should you call if you have a complaint about Pasco County schools? 

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