The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Workshop Meeting at 9:00 a.m., in the Board Room at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel (Administration) Building, 215 West Garden Street, with the following present:


Chairman: Dr. John DeWitt

Vice Chairman: Mrs. Cary Stidham

Members: Mr. Gary L. Bergosh

Ms. Linda Finkelstein

Dr. Elmer Jenkins

School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco Negron, Jr.

Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul (entered the workshop at 9:02 a.m.)



Dr. DeWitt called the workshop to order at 9:00 a.m.



The additions and deletions to the agenda were listed after the arrival of the Superintendent. Upon recommendation of Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, the Superintendent also pulled Item V.A.8 (Saturday Boot Camp) from the Curriculum and Instruction agenda.



Dr. DeWitt noted that the minutes were pulled by the Superintendent.




Mr. Robert Husbands, Committee Chairman, reported that the committee met on March 14, 2001, at which time the committee asked that the Board define the Board's policy position on the issue of grandfathering. He reported that the committee had expressed support for grandfathering seniors only for the class of 2002-2003 which would mean that current freshmen (rising ninth graders) would change schools if lines changed. He noted that Mr. Ireland Brock, Director, Pupil Instructional Support Services, was in Miami working with the Equity Center which will designate a staff person to assist the district on issues related to maintaining racial balance. Mr. Husbands stated that the committee also recommended that transportation (out- of-district) would be the responsibility of each parent. After discussion, Dr. DeWitt asked that the committee's recommendations be placed on the agenda for the April Board meeting.




1. User Agreement/Contract Summary/Special Stipulation between the Pensacola Civic Center and the School District of Escambia County for High School Graduation Ceremonies May 24, 25, 26, 2001.

Mrs. Stidham asked if the General Counsel for the Board had reviewed this agreement. Mr. Negron stated that he had suggested removing paragraph 17, and Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, advised that had been done. Dr. DeWitt noted that verbiage concerning the contact person should be updated. He inquired concerning the fee structure for rental (per day or per event). Dr. Scott stated that he would provide that information.

3. Interagency Agreement between the Escambia County School Readiness Coalition and Children's Services Center, Community Action Program Committee, Inc. (Head Start), and the Escambia County School District.

Ms. Finkelstein asked if General Counsel had approved this agreement. Mr. Negron noted that his approval stamp was on page 4. Dr. Jenkins stated that he serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Action Program Committee, Inc., and that he would file a Memorandum of Voting Conflict Form at the Board meeting.

6. Cooperative Agreement for Service between the School Board of Escambia County (FDLRS/Westgate IDEA Part B and General Revenue Funds) and the School Board of Okaloosa County, Florida.

Ms. Finkelstein requested input from staff with regard to utilization of General Revenue Funds. Mr. Paul Fetsko, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, advised that the district pays a percentage of the Staff Specialist salary. He noted that Ms. Yvonne Gray, Director of Exceptional Student Education (ESE), could provide additional information.


7. Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Corrections and the School Board of Escambia County.

Upon inquiry from Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Negron advised that he had approved the agreement.

PULLED: 8. Saturday Boot Camp.



7. Budget Amendments

a) Resolution 6: General Operating Fund

Dr. DeWitt requested explanation from staff concerning an increase in travel under Educational Technology. Mrs. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, stated that Educational Technology is a categorical budget (for Instructional Technology) which provides training for technology conferences.

8. Financial Status Report on Projects and Grants

Dr. DeWitt expressed concern that two grants reflect unencumbered funds which must be spent by June 30, 2001. Ms. Linda Gulley, Director of Grants Management, stated that the project directors provided explanations in the Grants Monitoring Report which was provided to the Board. Dr. DeWitt inquired concerning the Educational Technology area with $1,500,000. Mr. Manderson stated that this amount is an annual State appropriation which carries over from year to year, and the monies are always spent.

The Board recognized the following speaker:

Mr. Tommy Taylor, Director of Applied Technology and Adult Education, reported that Federal Workforce Investment monies had not been spent related to a contract with the Escarosa Workforce Development Board for a year-round program which provides salaries for 150 students.

Dr. Jenkins asked if an explanation (on how grant monies will be spent) is included in submission of grant applications and was advised that is the case for all grants.

10. Salary Schedules

a) Administrative Salary Schedule for 2000-2001

Ms. Finkelstein stated that it was her understanding that the Associate Superintendent position would be eliminated as of July 1, 2001, and the position still appears within the salary schedule. Dr. Douglas Garber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, advised that the position has been removed from the Personnel Planning Document which will be presented to the Board in April. Mr. Bergosh inquired concerning the salary schedule for the Assistant Principal at Northview High School (at level six), compared with other Assistant Principals that are at level nine or ten. Dr. Garber commented that the salary schedule is set up for the position and specific job duties. After discussion, Mr. Bergosh asked the Superintendent to look at that in case of inequities in pay.

Dr. DeWitt stated that two years ago the Board had authorized review of job classifications with new job descriptions to be written. Dr. Garber reported that the project was completed and the final job descriptions for administrative and professional/technical jobs will be returned to staff within two weeks. He stated that the next step would be at the discretion of the Board in terms of linking job descriptions to salaries and compensation. Dr. DeWitt stated that he hopes the changes will be implemented effective in July, 2001.



3. Risk Management

  • Life Insurance Plan

Mrs. Stidham asked if the Board's General Counsel had reviewed the contract concerning life insurance rates. Mr. Negron stated that the contract was not provided to him for review. Mr. Joe Bernard, Director of Risk Management, stated that he will provide the contract to Mr. Negron. Ms. Finkelstein asked if the contract was being renewed. Mr. Bernard stated that the district had a two-year contract (starting in April, 1999), which rolled over in April of last year. He advised that this is a joinder agreement and renewal document reflecting a ten percent increase in rates. Upon inquiry from Dr. DeWitt, Mr. Bernard advised that basic life insurance coverage is provided by the district at no cost to the employee (in an amount equal to the employee's annual salary). Mr. Ben Bell, Financial Analyst, stated that the cost to the district was about $35,000 per month for the district to provide the life insurance to the employees. Dr. DeWitt requested explanation concerning the deficit which necessitated the promissory note. Mr. Bernard advised that in the middle of last year, a discrepancy was noted between premiums and monies being paid out, and the matter was turned over to the Director of Internal Auditing. He reported that a premium audit was conducted by the underwriters and district accountants, and it was determined that the district under billed certain classes of employees, particularly retirees. He explained that in April, 1999 (when the contract was rolled over), the wrong premiums were passed on and that continued for 22 months resulting in the discrepancy in underpaid premiums totaling $415,000. Mr. Bell advised that there is approximately $350,000 to $400,000 in the Employee Benefit Trust Fund which will be used, plus accrued interest, to pay off the promissory note over two years. The Board's General Counsel inquired as to what prompted the premium audit. Mr. Bernard verified that it was a contractual requirement to investigate underwriting losses and to explain the discrepancy between the amounts paid out in claims and the small amount of premiums received. Dr. DeWitt asked what staff was doing now to provide checks and balances. Mr. Bernard stated that the Internal Auditor is involved in the process, and Risk Management will notify the Finance Department any time there is a rate change. Mr. Bell stated that he will provide quarterly reconciliations with Madison National Life Insurance Company to verify premiums paid by the district and obtain written verification that all premiums have been paid according to the Joinder Agreement. After discussion, Mr. Negron stated that he would confer with staff to review contractual requirements.

The Board recognized the following speaker:

Ms. Arlene Costello, President, Escambia Education Association (EEA), commented that the Association received notice from the Superintendent concerning this issue, and she asked that the Insurance Committee be allowed to review this matter as well.



4. Architectural Services: Ferry Pass Middle School reroofing.

Dr. Jenkins inquired concerning the project amount required for architectural services. Mr. Ted Kirchharr, Director of Facilities, advised that projects over $50,000 qualify, and he stated that this project would qualify.

7. Bid Award: Air Conditioners, Bid #01 23 02.

Dr. DeWitt requested a list of schools where the air conditioners will be installed. Mr. Kirchharr advised that he would provide the list to Board Members. After discussion, Mr. Kirchharr provided clarification that costs to convert to central air conditioning could be up to five times the cost for window units; however, some of the conversion costs could be addressed in the next allocation of Sales Tax monies. Mrs. Stidham questioned expenditure of funds to replace window units when conversion to central air (will be considered when Sales Tax monies are reallocated). Mr. Kirchharr stated that the funds will not be wasted due to the number of schools with window units, and any monies which become available with the Sales Tax reallocation still may not cover total costs for conversion to central air.

9. Bid Award: Professional Services - Grant Writer, RFP #01 17 01.

Dr. DeWitt requested explanation from staff. Mr. Barry Boyer, Director of Purchasing, stated that no responses were received on the original RFP and that staff would like to target specific areas through negotiation and bring a contract back to the Board for approval. He advised that staff is developing a list of potential candidates, and he asked that the Board provide input as well.

10. Bid Award: Window Replacement at Byrneville Elementary School.

Mrs. Stidham stated that the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for Facilities supported the window replacement in order to protect the district's investment; however, she disagreed with the committee recommendation and suggested pulling this item until a final decision is made on whether or not the school will close. Mr. Paul stated that he concurred with pulling this item. Ms. Finkelstein emphasized that there will be children at Byrneville next year, and the walls will continue to deteriorate. She added that delaying the project could cost more money in the long run. Mr. Kirchharr advised that the vendor will not be obligated to hold this price beyond this Board meeting. Mr. Bergosh asked what the project entailed. Mr. Kirchharr advised that structural repairs are needed. After discussion, Dr. DeWitt stated that this item would be pulled from the agenda.

27. Bid Award: Leasing Lawn Mowing Equipment, Bid #01 25 02.

Upon inquiry from Mrs. Stidham, Mr. Negron verified that he had reviewed this contract.

28. Bid Award: Lawn Mowing Services, Bid #01 26 02.

Dr. DeWitt requested additional information from staff. Mr. Boyer advised that this bid will cover schools in the southern part of the county, and services could be extended to the schools in the northern part of the county if the Board is satisfied with the services. Mr. Negron suggested that paragraph 3 (on both pages of the agreement) should be initialed by the company.

29. Bid Award: Band Uniforms for Northview High School, Bid #01 18 03.

Ms. Finkelstein requested input from staff. Mr. Boyer advised that Northview had requested 50-75 band uniforms and could only afford 60. He stated that there were sufficient funds to cover the additional uniforms, and he requested that the Board waive the 50/50 rule (which the Board has gone by in the past where the district funds 50% and the school funds 50%) to provide $800 to purchase the additional 15 uniforms. Ms. Finkelstein spoke in support of the purchase noting that when Northview was built, there was no budget for band uniforms, and they have waited for six years.






1. Phase I, Building #2 Renovations at Tate High School

Dr. Jenkins requested clarification and Dr. DeWitt noted this was final payment.



1. Renovations at Woodham High School

Dr. DeWitt commented that Mr. Bill Slayton, Principal, Woodham High School, had indicated that he was comfortable with the plans.



Dr. DeWitt requested that staff provide an explanation to the Board as to why the Transfer Committee denied several requests for transfer from Tate to Woodham High School. Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, stated that he did not serve on the Transfer Committee; however, he would convey the Board's request to Mr. Ireland Brock, Director, Pupil Instructional Support Services, to provide follow-up information.



1. Internal Funds

-No items submitted


  • Inventory Adjustment Reports

Dr. DeWitt verified that some of the computers that were missing were older models that had probably been scrapped.



- No Items Submitted





A. Permission to Advertise

1. School Board Rule 6Gx17-7.09 PUPIL PROGRESSION PLAN

Dr. DeWitt requested input from staff concerning summer school.

Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, advised that schools were given Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI) dollars last year to use for summer remediation, and staff will provide the Board with a list of schools, summer school courses they are offering, projected number of students, and projected costs. Dr. DeWitt inquired concerning transportation costs. Mr. Jerry Caine, Director of Operations, advised that transportation is covered out of the General Fund. Dr. DeWitt asked if the district was required to provide transportation for summer school. After discussion, Mr. Fetsko advised that transportation for summer school was not mandatory. Upon inquiry from Mrs. Stidham, Dr. Scott stated that there are no drivers' education courses offered this summer; however, athletic programs will be offered at some of the high schools. He added that staff is developing criteria on how SAI dollars can be spent for next year, but the monies have already been budgeted to run summer school this year. Mrs. Stidham requested that data be given to the Board on how many districts in Florida provide summer school and types of courses they provide.

The Board recognized the following speaker:

  • Bill Slayton, Principal, Woodham High School, expressed that students and parents want school activities over the summer.
  • Ms. Nettie Eaton, Principal, Washington High School, commented that most classes over the summer are for purposes of remediation, and if they are not offered for high school, night classes may be necessary. She verified that night school is free, and teachers are paid out of community school funds.

Ms. Finkelstein requested input from staff concerning students who come to their senior year and may be lacking credit. Ms. Eaton commented that a student may earn credits through correspondence courses or other alternatives such as Florida High School On-Line and Pensacola Junior College Adult High. Mr. Fetsko advised that Florida High School On-Line offers advanced placement courses which have very high technical requirements, and most students do not have the home computer system needed. Dr. DeWitt suggested adding language to the Pupil Progression Plan to offer foreign language in elementary school. Dr. Deborah Malishan, Director of Elementary Education, stated that she will convey that to the elementary school principals. Dr. Jenkins expressed that teaching institutions need to provide specialized training for elementary education students in math and science. Mr. Fetsko stated that The University of West Florida is developing a math/science education program at both the Bachelors and Masters Degree levels. Regarding student promotion, Ms. Finkelstein asked that the language in the Pupil Progression Plan reflect the wording in Florida Statutes. Dr. Scott stated that language in the secondary section referring to Florida Statutes, House Bill 751, and options for remediation other than retention, will be added to the elementary section as well. Ms. Finkelstein referred to verbiage concerning retention of students (based on absences of 30 days or more during the school year), and was advised that those cases are subject to administrative review. After discussion, Mr. Negron stated that he would confer with Mr. Ireland Brock, Director, Pupil Instructional Support Services, to ensure that the language complies with Florida Statutes. Dr. DeWitt asked that staff make minor wording corrections on page 21 under promotion, and on page 24 (Item 2). Ms. Finkelstein expressed concern regarding changing the requirement for graduation from 28 to 26 credits. Mr. Paul noted that the State standard for graduation is 24 credits. Dr. DeWitt requested explanation concerning the recommendation to require 1.5 physical education credits noting that the State requires one credit for physical education. Ms. Spooner spoke in support of recommending 1.5 physical education credits. Ms. Nettie Eaton, Principal, Washington High School, concurred with recommendations. Dr. DeWitt inquired concerning dual enrollment. Ms. Eaton stated that Washington High has the most students in dual enrollment. She noted the Pensacola Junior College pays a portion of the salaries. After discussion, Dr. DeWitt thanked the principals for their input. He asked that staff submit the changes (regarding the Pupil Progression Plan) to the Board in writing before the Board meeting.


2. Notice of Intent to Close the McReynolds Center and the Beggs Educational Center

Dr. Jenkins inquired concerning relocation of the Beggs Program. Dr. DeWitt stated that the building is going to be closed and will become part of the West Florida High School for Advanced Technology. Mr. Paul requested input from staff, and Mr. Fetsko advised that a committee is considering site options for placement of the Beggs Program. He noted that the Cyesis Program is moving to the Sid Nelson Center, and the projected increase in enrollment with that move should help offset transportation costs. Mr. Charles Thomas, Director of Alternative Education, stated that the Beggs Program is an educational alternative program for students who are behind in credits, have low grade point averages, or failed a grade. He stated that a charter school would probably not be a good site for placement of students in the Beggs Program because the criteria for placement is different, and most charter school students are students who have disciplinary problems.


3. School Board Rule 6Gx17-5.02(d) - Budget Transfers - John DeWitt

Dr. DeWitt stated that the Superintendent had expressed intent that there be no more transfers of money due to budgetary constraints, and that monies left over be carried forward for next fiscal year. Mrs. Stidham asked if a small amount, perhaps $200, could be allowed for transfer between object codes. Mr. Paul requested input from staff. Dr. Garber concurred that there should be a minimum amount available for operational purposes. Mr. Fetsko advised that some departments have been frugal with monies for materials and supplies in hopes of having funds available to attend annual State conferences coming up in May and June. Dr. DeWitt stated that the intent of the Board was to control expenditures and implement the freeze as of tomorrow. Mr. Wallace Odom, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Business Affairs, commented concerning State Board rule requirements. He commented that there may be price increases, fuel increases, and items needed for school operations. After discussion, Dr. DeWitt asked that staff amend this item to set a $300 limit on transfers between object codes in a department budget.


B. Permission to Adopt

  • School Board Rule 6Gx17-5.02(d) - Budget Transfers (Emergency 90-Day Action)

Dr. DeWitt noted this is an emergency rule which will come back for final adoption in April.



Workshop Only Items:

1. Scheduling of Budget Workshops and Meetings - John DeWitt

Dr. DeWitt noted that the Board started budget deliberations in February last year, and he asked Mrs. Barbara Linker, Director of Budgeting, to provide a calendar of required budget meetings. He stated that the Board will be working on budget object codes and functions, and he asked the Superintendent to submit recommendations. Mr. Paul stated that input will be provided by Mr. Wallace Odom, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Business Affairs.


2. Update on Review/Rewrite of School Board Policies - John DeWitt (Approved at November 21, 2000 School Board Meeting)

Dr. DeWitt requested input from staff, and Dr. Garber reported that staff is in the process of conferring with the Board's General Counsel as to what type of rewrite the Board would like. He stated that various policies and guidelines are forthcoming from the State, and that information will be distributed to the departments. Dr. DeWitt noted that there is a June 30, 2001, deadline for submission to the Board.


3. Update on District Requirements for Summer School, List of Classes to be offered and Transportation Cost - John DeWitt (Requested at February 19, 2001 School Board Workshop)

Dr. DeWitt requested that staff submit this information to the Board at the earliest opportunity.


4. Update on Number of Teacher Contracts secured through Recruitment Process - John DeWitt (Requested at February 19, 2001 School Board Workshop)

Upon inquiry by Dr. DeWitt, Dr. Garber stated that information was forthcoming from Mr. Elvin McCorvey, Director of Affirmative Action.


Regular Agenda Items:


1. Reappointment of Elmer Jenkins to the Community Action Program Committee, Inc., Board of Directors - John DeWitt

Dr. DeWitt stated that he will present a motion on this item at the Board meeting.


2. Request for Budget Transfer from Internal Auditing - John DeWitt

Dr. DeWitt stated that he will address a travel request submitted by the Internal Auditor at the Board meeting.


3. Request Approval of 2001-2002 Traditional School Calendar as submitted by Human Resources on January 23, 2001 - John DeWitt

Dr. DeWitt stated that clarification was needed as to which calendar the Board approved. Mrs. Stidham stated that the Board had approved continuing the calendar (as approved by the Board in April, 2000), which included half-days for in-service training. Dr. Garber stated that the Board had specified in a previous workshop that half-days should be eliminated. The Board's General Counsel stated that based on his review, the Board had approved the traditional calendar with half-days, so a motion would have to be approved at a Board meeting to change that. After discussion, Dr. DeWitt stated that he will present a motion at the Board meeting to reflect the Board's intent to eliminate half-days.


4. Implementation of Nine-Week Grading Period for all Schools for 2001-2002 School Year - Dr. John DeWitt

Dr.DeWitt stated that he will present a motion at the Board meeting that all schools will be on a nine-week grading period beginning with the 2001-2002 school year. Dr. Garber stated that the Calendar Committee had recommended considering a nine week grading period for this year pending input from Curriculum and Instruction staff. He noted that the Escambia Education Association supports the nine week grading period and wishes to be a part of the process. Dr. Alan Scott, Director of Secondary Education, conveyed that principals have expressed concerns that the number of students who fail might increase due to fewer opportunities to make up a grade and less opportunities for feedback. Mrs. Stidham stated that some children are already on a nine-week grading period. Mr. Bill Bush, Director, Technological Systems and Management Information, stated that elementary schools are already set for a nine-week grading period, and that high schools are on six-week grading periods. He asked that a decision be made as soon as possible to allow time for necessary program changes.

5. Conversion of Risk Management Trust to Risk Management Department effective July 1, 2001 - Cary Stidham

Mrs. Stidham asked for a legal opinion as to whether an advertisement and subsequent rule adoption would be necessary for conversion of the Risk Management Trust to a department. Mr. Negron stated that would be the case if the Risk Management Trust was originally adopted as a rule. Mrs. Stidham stated that she would present a motion at the Board meeting to ask the Risk Management to present a plan for Board review (by the May Board meeting), as to how they would like to see the department set up, with Board action in June (to take effect July 1, 2001). Dr. Jenkins inquired as to the advantages of converting to a department. Mrs. Stidham stated that the auditors reviewing the Risk Management Trust had reported concerns about control issues and dual control. Mr. Bernard stated that the agreement for the Risk Management Trust and the School Board Rules state that the Director of Risk Management can settle any claim up to the amount of money that is in the Trust Fund. He stated that converting to a department would limit that authority; however, it is workable if that is the intent of the Board. He asked the Board's permission to work with the Board's General Counsel on how the department should be set up and to maintain confidentiality. Mr. Paul stated that he supports the motion.

The Board recognized the following speaker:

Mr. Robert Husbands, Executive Director, Escambia NEA UniServ, stated that he had concerns about confidentiality related to Workmans' Compensation, and he stated that he would propose negotiations on that point.


6. Direction to Internal Auditor to review and report back to School Board on issues involving all vendor contracts initiated at individual school sites - Cary Stidham

Mrs. Stidham distributed two motions that she will present for consideration at the Board meeting as follows:

1) That the School Board direct the General Counsel to draft a rule and/or amendments to existing rules to be approved at the April, 2001 regular School Board meeting prohibiting any school principals or staff from entering into contracts for the purchase of goods or services or for the exchange of any consideration whatsoever without the prior approval of the School Board, to include renewals of any unauthorized agreements now in existence; and

2) That the School Board direct the Internal Auditor to conduct a district-wide audit for the purpose of identifying all unauthorized contracts now in existence and to report his findings to the Board at the April, 2001, regular School Board meeting. Mrs. Stidham requested a legal opinion. The Board's General Counsel stated that based on review of materials received from the Internal Auditor, some high school principals had entered into lease agreements for lease of district property with certain private individuals, as well as sale items such as caps and gowns. He indicated that Florida Statutes state that the contracting agent for the district is the School Board alone unless the School Board delegates that authority. There is no legal authority for principals to enter into agreements. Dr. Jenkins expressed concern that the Board should not limit the freedom of administrators in the high schools. Mr. Negron suggested that the Board could consider permitting principals to negotiate a contract, but require that the contract be reviewed by the Board's General Counsel and submitted to the Board for approval. Mr. Boyer obtained clarification that this proposal is directed for goods and services at the school level only.


7. Direction to Facilities Department to move forward for construction of K-8 School in Molino and Barrineau Park area - Cary Stidham

Mrs. Stidham stated that there has been a push by the Department of Education that any districts having money left in Classroom First funds return that money for reallocation by the State. She suggested that in order to go forward on construction of a school, she would ask the Board's General Counsel to draft a resolution for the closing and consolidation of Molino and Barrineau Park Elementary Schools with the closing to take affect once the new school is built. Mr. Paul asked Mike Burns, Coordinator of Community and Legislative Affairs, to report concerning this matter. Mr. Burns stated that he had spoken to Education Commissioner Charlie Crist who expressed support for the intent to use the Classroom First monies to build the school. Dr. DeWitt spoke in support of the motion to build the new school. Upon inquiry by Mrs. Finkelstein, Mr. Kirchharr clarified that the State looks at capacity needs, so in order to generate the capacity need for a K-8 school, documentation would be needed to show the loss of capacity with the other two schools. Mr. Paul asked how long it would take to build the school and was advised that the estimated school opening would probably be 2002/2003. Dr. DeWitt commented concerning the possibility of building a K-5 school. Mr. Kirchharr stated that the current K-5 population in that area is 500, which is below the 775 student population guidelines which the Board has used in the past. Ms. Finkelstein expressed concerns that the public was informed that school closing and consolidation would be the last option considered by the Board, and she suggested tabling this item for one month. Dr. Jenkins concurred and stated that more time was needed for people to react. Mr. Bergosh added that citizens have been asked to serve on committees and the committee recommendations are forthcoming. Upon inquiry from the Superintendent, Mr. Kirchharr stated that the Blue Ribbon Committee will present their recommendations in the near future.


8. Update from Mike Burns, Coordinator of Community and Legislative Affairs - Linda Finkelstein

Mr. Burns provided an update on pending legislation as follows:

A) Senate Bill 1594 (deals with retirement age which is 55, but would allow time of service to be shortened from 30 to 25 years);

B) House Bill 1205 (would reduce the maximum number of sick leave days that an employee can carry to 60 days);

C) AP and IB funding has been zeroed out in the Education Appropriation Budget, and meetings will be held with the Appropriations Committee to try to get this funding back into the budget.

Ms. Finkelstein inquired concerning the amount of funding for this district, and Dr. Scott advised that Pensacola High School receives up to $122,000, and all high schools receive a portion of these funds.

D) House Bill 303 (SCRIPT) dealing with student overcrowding and campuses over 120% capacity. Mrs. Stidham asked if this was based on permanent student stations. Mr. Kirchharr stated that the district has about six schools at 120% over capacity (based on permanent capacity).

E) Corporate Tax Scholarship (would provide a $3,500 tax credit for corporations that fund student scholarships, mostly involving urban schools, underprivileged, and Title I students).

F) Local legislation on the Civil Service Bill is in the bill drafting process and the bill should be filed some time next week. Mr. Burns reported that during a visit to Escambia County last week, Charlie Crist, Education Commissioner, spoke concerning the "Teach Florida" plan which offers college scholarships to Florida universities and up to $3,000 to each recipient per year. He noted that Commissioner Crist also discussed the Safe Passage Act, which is House Bill 1495, and he commended Ms. Beverly Patterson, Principal at A.K. Suter Elementary School, on implementation of the safety lockdown at the school earlier in the week. Mr. Burns announced that an "Escambia County Day at the Legislature" is planned on April 10, 2001, to allow local citizens to travel to Tallahassee and visit with members of the local delegation. Dr. Jenkins inquired concerning possible changes in the formula for calculating retirement (from five years to three years of highest salary earned). Mr. Burns indicated those changes have a high likelihood of success. Mr. Bergosh asked if Mr. Burns could confer with Commissioner Crist to verify if there are any time constraints on use of Classroom First monies. Mr. Burns stated that Commissioner Crist indicated that the funds were not in jeopardy in Escambia County. Mrs. Finkelstein inquired concerning House Bill 1149 and Senate Bill 1254 (regarding educational facilities) and the ability to modify capacity. Mr. Burns stated that relates to the SCRIPT bill which would allow the district to set numbers for capacity opposed to the State. Mr. Kirchharr added that capacity is currently set at the time of design, and the proposed legislation would allow the district to reflect how buildings are currently used. Mr. Burns stated that he also plans to confer with Commissioner Crist regarding Senate Bill 1452 (regarding portables). Ms. Finkelstein thanked Mr. Burns for the report, and she requested that a legislative update be provided to the Board next month as well.

The Board recognized the following speaker:


1) Ms. Arlene Costello, President, Escambia Education Association (EEA), stated that EEA is working in conjunction with administration on planning the "Escambia County Day at the Legislature" planned for April 10, 2001.

2) Mr. Bill Bush, Director, Technological Systems and Management Information, expressed concern that the proposed sick leave bill refers to a definition of Educational Support Personnel (ESP), and he requested assistance for MIS staff who are not defined in that bill so that employees will not lose sick leave.


9. Acquisition of Property for Carver Middle School - Linda Finkelstein (Item tabled at December 19, 2000 School Board Meeting)

Ms. Finkelstein requested input from the Board on the possibility of acquiring the property located between Carver Middle School and Century Elementary School for a sale price of approximately $38,000. Dr. DeWitt asked if the purchase was recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee for Facilities. Mrs. Stidham stated that the committee indicated support for the purchase. Dr. Jenkins inquired concerning the appraised value. Mrs. Finkelstein stated that the values ranged from $34,000 to $40,000 with the average appraised value at about $37,000. She noted that the funding source is $100,000 located in Capital Outlay Debt Service.



Mr. Paul noted that a Request for Formal Hearing was submitted for Item Number 15 (Student Number 01-118-121).

24. Request to approve appointment of Deputy Superintendent.

Chairman DeWitt inquired as to the effective date of the appointment. Mr. Paul advised that his recommendation was to appoint Mr. Norm Ross, transferring from the position of Principal of Pensacola High School to the position of Deputy Superintendent effective July 1, 2001.



1. Property Purchase from Catherine Adams

Mr. Negron advised that during negotiations it was discovered that Ms. Adams co-owned the property with her children. He stated that the district had a 30-day time limit in which to clear the title, and the real estate attorney had asked if the Board wished to offer an extension of 120 days. Dr. DeWitt stated that the district needs the property but the Board would ask that any additional attorney fees incurred be subtracted from the purchase price of the property. Mr. Negron stated that he would convey that to the attorney. Mrs. Stidham asked if it would be feasible for staff to provide a title search earlier in the process. Mr. Negron stated that he would confer with Dr. David Epperson, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Maintenance, to look into that possibility.


2. Amendment to Cooperative Agreement between the School Board of Escambia County, Florida, and the Escambia County Sheriff's Department.

Mr. Negron advised that the amendment would provide education for Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students through the age of 22 as required by law. He stated that the Sheriff supports this amendment.



There being no further business, the workshop adjourned at 12:44 p.m. (Official recordings of this workshop are filed in the Information Services Department.)


Attest: Approved:


________________________ __________________________

Superintendent Chairman