The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Meeting at 10:00 a.m., in the Board Room, at the Dr. Vernon McDaniel (Administration) Building, 215 West Garden Street, Pensacola, Florida, with the following present:


Chairman: Dr. John DeWitt

Vice Chairman: Mrs. Cary Stidham

Board Members: Mr. Gary L. Bergosh (was not present)

Ms. Linda Finkelstein

Dr. Elmer Jenkins

School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr.

Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul



Dr. DeWitt called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  He explained that the purpose of this meeting was for clarification on the roles and responsibilities of the School Board and the Superintendent and for discussion of legislative issues.



There being no objection, the agenda as outlined, was followed.




Dr. Wayne Blanton, Executive Director, Florida School Boards Association and Dr. David Mosrie, Associate Executive Officer, Florida Association of District School Superintendents, began their presentation of outlining the roles and responsibilities of the School Board and the Superintendent.


The meeting recessed at 11:15 a.m. and reconvened at 11:25 a.m., with Dr. DeWitt, Mrs. Stidham, Ms. Finkelstein, Dr. Jenkins, Mr. Negron and Mr. Paul present.  Dr. Blanton and Dr. Mosrie concluded their presentation and then responded to various questions posed by Board Members and the Superintendent, regarding their roles and responsibilities.


The Board asked for clarification on contracting authority, which is an issue that had been discussed at previous Board meetings.  Dr. DeWitt explained that current policy gives the Superintendent authority to enter into contracts up to a specified amount.  Dr. Blanton clarified that Board policy should be followed. 


Following their presentation, Dr. Blanton and Dr. Mosrie gave a brief update on the following legislative issues:


Budget – Dr. Blanton stated that the proposed budget for next year has $157 more per student in the base student allocation.   He further stated that the proposed budget was being projected on property tax values increasing by ten percent (10%).  He noted that he had not received any information from any Board Members or Superintendents that had checked with their property appraiser and found that there property value was going to increase by ten percent (10%).  He noted that the highest increase that he had been notified of was eight percent (8%). He encouraged the Board and the Superintendent to contact their property appraiser to find out their percentage of increase on property values and contact him with that information. He also stated that the Revenue Estimated Conference was scheduled for September 13, 2001 and that there would be discussion regarding a projected “shortfall” on this year’s budget with the possibility of a “holdback” of funds to the school systems.


Retirement – Dr. Blanton stated that last session a bill was passed regarding the retirement system. He noted that the current system operates under a “defined benefit plan.” He explained that the new system would give district employees the option of either a “defined benefit plan” or a “defined contribution plan.” He explained the difference between the two options and noted that there would be a considerable amount of training necessary for district personnel on the difference between the two options and how each will affect district operations (i.e., payroll deduction).


Following his update on legislative issues, Dr. Blanton and Dr. Mosrie responded to questions posed by the Board and the Superintendent regarding various issues (i.e., Health Insurance, Average Daily Attendance, and 25-Year Retirement).


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.


Attest: Approved:

Superintendent  Chairman