1. Gradebook

No extra pay this year for non-classroom Pasco instructional staff

About 20 percent of the teaching staff falls into that category.
Lauren Pantoja, Florida Literacy Coach of the Year, talks with Chasco Middle School students, from right, Philena Lyerly and Daija Jimenez. [GAIL DIEDERICH | Special to the Times]
Published Mar. 14

Learning design coaches, instructional trainers and other Pasco County school district teachers without assigned classrooms won’t be getting a bonus they received a year ago.

The district has not included funds to give those employees the equivalent of a Best and Brightest award in this year’s budget. And because of definitions in state law, they are not eligible for the state-funded program, which focuses specifically on “classroom teachers.”

A year ago, the district administration and School Board insisted on using a portion of the money set aside for added pay to give a bonus similar to Best and Brightest, to the teachers who did not meet the state criteria. Depending on their evaluation rating, those educators received either $800 or $1,200.

That money isn’t part of the district’s offered pay package, which includes 2 percent average raises and is headed to impasse hearings.

“Last year the district was able to fund additional scholarships/bonuses for the teachers excluded by the state. However, we used nonrecurring revenue to do so and do not have access to those funds any longer,” assistant superintendent Kevin Shibley explained via email. “The teachers who are not receiving Best and Brightest Scholarship/Bonuses this year are in the same group the state excluded last year. We just don’t have the available local funds to make them whole like we were able to do last year.”

This change does not affect anyone’s bi-weekly salary, as the money was paid as a one-time bonus. But it will make a difference to some of the faculty’s bottom line, a point not lost on those who have fought against the idea of bonuses (the current preference at the state level) as opposed to pay raises, which are not generally as open to annual review.


  1. Meaghan Leto, (center facing street), a speech therapist from Twin Lakes Elementary, protests over pay with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association outside of a School Board meeting.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  2. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
    As expected, the union rejected the district’s plan to add work for middle and high school teachers in exchange for more money.
  3. Pinellas County teachers and their allies rallied at major intersections in 2012 to protest legislative proposals. [Jim Damaske, Times]
    Details are still scant, but the House’s tone was one of being fiscally cautious as they evaluate DeSantis’ pitch to raise base teacher pay.
  4. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018) Hernando County School District office, 919 N Broad St., Brooksville
    Hernando County debates the pros and cons of superintendent John Stratton’s recommendation.
  5. The University of South Florida revealed a new plan for the school's consolidation Thursday morning. Unlike the first plan presented in September, it promises a high level of authority to leaders on campuses in St. Petersburg, shown here, and Sarasota. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    A new proposal also aims to strengthen programs at the university’s St. Petersburg and Sarasota locations.
  6. Fifth grade teacher Michelle Brandon is one of four Hudson Elementary School teachers to be removed after two weeks of classes because of her state VAM score. Here she reviews classroom rules with students on the first day of school 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. [SKIP O'ROURKE   | Times]
    It’s unclear if there will be any proposed changes to this method for measuring teachers’ impact on their students’ performance, despite complaints.
  8. A deputy's Sig Sauer P320, similar to this Glock 19, discharged in the cafeteria of a Wesley Chapel school April 30. The bullet lodged in the wall behind him. The deputy has been fired.
    Cpl. Jonathan Cross was lifting his pistol up and down out of its holster when it went off, Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
  9. Shirley Joseph is named superintendent of Madison County public schools. Madison County school district
    The previous superintendent resigned amid conflicts with the School Board.
  10. In this image from a Pinellas County school district video, former School Board member Lee Benjamin motions to someone he knows while sitting with family members during at 2013 ceremony to name the Northeast High School gymnasium in his honor. Mr. Benjamin was the school's first basketball coach in 1954 and later became Northeast's principal in a long career with Pinellas schools that included 14 years on the School Board. He died Wednesday at age 92. Pinellas County Schools
    A teacher, coach and principal at Northeast High, he rose to district administrator and served on the School Board. Mr. Benjamin died Wednesday at age 92.