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]
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, 2019

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.


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  2. Hillsborough school superintendent Jeff Eakins holds a time capsule at Cypress Creek Elementary Thursday in Ruskin. Eakins, who retires soon, was a fourth-grade teacher at the school when the capsule was buried in 1991. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  3. Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, has pushed for changes to Florida's restraint and seclusion laws for nearly a decade.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) [Associated Press (2016)]
  4. Health officials recommend washing hands frequently and sanitizing toys, clothes and other items as often as possible to avoid the spread of viruses.
  5. An artist's rendering shows one view of Tyrone Middle School in St. Petersburg after a $28 million renovation. Work is expected to start in February 2021. The Pinellas County School Board approved a contract with Rowe Architects Inc. to work on the project. [Pinellas County Schools]
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  8. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D- Orlando  [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  9. More than 100 people turned out Jan. 15, 2019, to give the Pasco County School Board their thoughts on the district's policy and procedures for transgender student rights. [JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK  |  Times]
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  11. Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis (center) and School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) sign Davis' contract with the Hillsborough County School District after it was unanimously approved by the school board on February 18, 2020. [JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ  |  Times]
  12. Teacher Dequita Parker guides youngsters to lunch from the playground Sept. 20 at the PromiseLand Early Childhood Education Center in Tampa.