The Special Board meeting held Wednesday, May 7th did not produce a finalized PPD. The good news is that we are very close to approving one, and the final vote will take place at our regular meeting on May 20th. The big take away from yesterday's meeting is that to meet a pretty rigid timeline for approving professional contracts, the PPD has to be finalized by May 20th. A potential wage concession compromise that I pushed very hard on the superintendent fell apart in the eleventh hour, and I was discouraged to see that happen. I'll keep working for a compromise that all can accept that puts an emphasis on kids, but that is also fiscally responsible to our taxpayers.
Yesterday's meeting turned into a round table discussion on planning, budgeting, and ideas on potential savings opportunities. Some new statistics on our Administrative costs per student were given by the Superintendent that seemed to show that Escambia County is lean on administrators, when compared to Santa Rosa and Okaloosa. This is an encouraging statistic that seems to indicate that we are in line or below what other counties around the state are spending on administration. I would like to look a bit deeper into the numbers and see where we stack up (admin. costs per student) against our peer (Student population sized) counties, Marion, Osceola, Collier, and Seminole. I'm going to check those numbers. But based on the initial numbers I am encouraged.
Perhaps the silver lining to all of the emotional discord regarding budget cuts is that we will figure out what we really "have to have" and realize what we really don't "have to have". This process also makes us focus on what is really important in the overall discussion----The Students. This belt tightening makes us all work together , and as my counterpart Pete Gindl said at the meeting "We'll get through this and we'll all be smarter and stronger for having gone through it"
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.