ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
MINUTES, OCTOBER 3, 2002
The School Board of Escambia County, Florida, convened in Special Meeting at 3:30 p.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: Ms. Linda Finkelstein
Board Members: Mr. Gary L. Bergosh
Mrs. Cary Stidham
Dr. Elmer Jenkins
School Board Attorney: Mr. Francisco M. Negron, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools: Mr. Jim Paul
I. CALL TO ORDER
Dr. DeWitt called the Special Meeting to order at 3:33 p.m.
II. ADOPTION OF AGENDA
On motion made by Mrs. Stidham and seconded by Ms. Finkelstein, adoption of the agenda, was unanimously approved.
III. HUMAN RESOURCES
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit A)
Motion by Mrs. Stidham, second by Ms. Finkelstein, to approve Out-of-Field instructional personnel, was unanimous.
IV. ITEMS FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
(Supplementary Minute Book, Exhibit B)
1. Report on Minority Recruitment and Retention [Affirmative Action]
(previously discussed at September 17, 2002 Special Workshop)
The Superintendent made the following statement: Let me first say that our district and our nation is facing a teacher shortage particularly in the critical areas of math, science and special education of mammoth proportions. The State of Florida produces a bit over 6,000 university-trained graduates a year, who intend on going into the teaching profession - the State needs are 12,000 per year. Should the class-size reduction referendum pass this November, the State will require over 30,000 new teachers next year. As Superintendent, my first concern lies with the recruitment and retention of credential teachers, particularly with the critical areas of math, science and special education. Another important issue of course, is our concern with regard to recruitment and retention of African-American teachers that too, is a State and national issue. Despite the fact that our district has been more successful than two-thirds of the other districts in the State of Florida, we remain wholefully short of appropriate representation. Having said all that, it is clear that the recruitment and retention issue is of critical importance to the district so important, that I will personally draft and oversee the implementation of the districts recruitment and retention plan. I have informed Mr. McCorvey (Mr. Elvin McCorvey, Coordinator - EEOC) that he is no longer responsible to coordinate a recruitment effort. I have already begun personally, the process of drafting a plan but to do it right, is going to take some time. One might ask how much time? Well, the answer is as much time as necessary hopefully within the next sixty (60) days. When I have completed it, I will gather a committed and diverse planning team to help collect data, evaluate the districts needs, identify resources, evaluate the plan and recommend desired changes to policies and practices. The group (planning team) will consist of teachers, parents, administrators, the Union, community leaders, University representatives, and other stakeholders in the community. I will of course, keep the Board informed of the progress, as I progress in the plan construction of that initiative. I just wanted to remind everybody that it is a very serious issue and it is far beyond the district it is a national problem that we are facing today.
Mr. Elvin McCorvey, Coordinator EEOC, provided handouts and gave a brief update on minority recruitment and retention. He explained that it is difficult to recruit minorities to the District, as other districts offer higher salaries and higher signing bonuses. He noted that when minority candidates were recruited to the District, they are often refused employment by some principals. Board Members expressed concern that they had learned of this alleged crisis (discriminatory hiring practices) through the media and not from Mr. McCorvey himself. They requested proof to show that there were discriminatory hiring practices in the District.
Dr. DeWitt advised that the Board would consult with the Superintendent on this issue, as he (the Superintendent) had made a decision to personally assume the responsibility of drafting and overseeing the implementation of the Districts recruitment and retention plan.
The Board recognized the following speakers, who addressed various concerns regarding the issue of minority recruitment and retention: Mary Armstrong, LeRoy Boyd, Debra Thompson, Ida Cheese, John Jerralds, Mary Rogers, Jim Williams, Marcus J. McCreary, Walter Gulley, Jr., Doris Hayes and Evelyn Rankin.
2. Administrative Appointment
On motion by Mrs. Stidham, seconded by Dr. Jenkins, the Superintendents recommendation for the Administrative Appointment of Carl Leiterman, from Applied Technology Specialist, to Principal/Escambia High School, effective September 27, 2002, was unanimously approved.
3. Student Recommendations
TO ADDRESS THE BOARD
a. Recommend that the
decision of the formal hearing officer, concerning student 03-18-411
be adopted as the order of the Escambia County School Board.
On motion by Mrs. Stidham, seconded by Mr. Bergosh, the Superintendents recommendation that the decision of the formal hearing officer, concerning student 03-18-411 be adopted as the order of the Escambia County School Board, was unanimously approved.
b. Recommend that the decision of the formal hearing officer, concerning student 03-19-411 be adopted as the order of the Escambia County School Board.
On motion by Mrs. Stidham, seconded by Dr. Jenkins, the Superintendents recommendation that the decision of the formal hearing officer, concerning student 03-19-411 be adopted as the order of the Escambia County School Board, was unanimously approved.
There being no further business, the Special Meeting adjourned at 4:52 p.m.