Yesterday the Independent Weekly, Rick Outzen and Sean Boone, posed the below questions to thd District School Board Candidates.
My response to these questions is below.
Attached are my responses to the questions that you posed. I went over the 25 word limit because these were extremely tough issues you raised that 25 wards was inadequate to cover.
Thanks very much for the opportunity to present my views.
In weekly Questionnaire and Candidate Jeff Bergosh’s Responses
1. The state legislature wanted to tie teachers’ compensation to test scores, but Gov. Crist vetoed the bill. What is your position on this issue?
SB6 became a lightning rod because it became partisan politics at its worst--one party attempting to ramrod its agenda over another party (like Democrats did to Republicans on Healthcare in D.C.). People are weary of partisan politics. For lasting meaningful education reform to occur, I believe the legislature must work with all education stakeholders to craft intelligent, meaningful, and effective policy.
2. The School District has surplus property, including the old Brownsville Middle School. What is your plan for disposing of these properties?
The district school board will continue its practice of making below appraisal land/facility purchases as necessary while continuing to sell our excess properties at prices that are at or exceed appraised value. Some recent sales examples -Wedgewood, Molino, (sold at appraised value) and a small parcel near Washington H.S. (In Escrow currently) for $1.7 Million. Additionally, we are close to a deal on the sale of Brownsville M.S. We are also doing a lease w/purchase option on the Edgewater property this month with attractive terms for district taxpayers. We are aggressively disposing of our excess properties—despite this fetid real estate market.
3. What is your position on zero tolerance?
I believe the term is synonymous with stupidity. We pay our administrators well enough, and they are trained well enough, to dole out punishment where it is necessary while utilizing common sense when appropriate. I joined with Patty Hightower last month in a call to remove the term from our district policy. We will still expel students who bring drugs, make bomb threats, or commit violent acts or bring weapons—but the term Zero Tolerance is a “tarnished brand”—(a lot like SB6!)—Zero Tolerance will be removed from Escambia County Policy.
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.