Education a key theme for upcoming session

Education was a recurring theme among speakers at a recent meeting held by the Pasco County Legislative Delegation before this year’s annual session. Local citizens and civic leaders voiced their concerns on this hot-button issue during a Jan. 18 gathering at Sunlake High School, with six local representatives to the state Legislature. Dozens of interest groups and local government leaders … [Read more...]

School year starts sooner for local students

The 2016-2017 school year will ring in earlier for students in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. Students in Pasco County will begin next school year on Aug. 15 and will finish it on May 26. The Pasco County School Board approved the new calendar without discussion. “The purpose for the earlier start date is to allow secondary students to complete semester exams before winter break,” … [Read more...]

Contract proposal includes pay raises, more planning time

A vote is scheduled on Jan. 14 to determine whether or not a proposed contract between Pasco County Schools and the United School Employees of Pasco will garner enough support for adoption. Negotiators for Pasco County Schools and the United School Employees of Pasco have hammered out a deal that includes pay raises and increased instructional planning time. But it also calls for the end of … [Read more...]

Contract proposal includes pay raises, more planning time

Negotiators for Pasco County Schools and the United School Employees of Pasco have hammered out a deal that includes pay raises and increased instructional planning time. But it also calls for the end of smoking on all district properties and for the end of a district early retirement program. Teachers and school-related employees, on average, would receive a 3 percent increase under the … [Read more...]

School district, union agree to 3% raise

Teachers will get a 3 percent pay raise after Pasco County Schools and the United School Employees of Pasco union reached an agreement on new contracts. For teachers, the cost to give pay raises will be $6.4 million, according to a release from the school district. Half of that raise will address cost-of-living expenses, while the other half will be for performance pay or equivalent agreements. … [Read more...]

Weightman students hope to stamp out tobacco use

The students come streaming into the media center at Weightman Middle School before school started, and went straight to work making posters. They were creating messages for the middle school’s Red Ribbon Week, an effort to discourage drug use. Some kids arrived at the library at 8 a.m. sharp, others drifted in over the next 20 minutes or so. Whether they arrived early or late, though, … [Read more...]

Pasco union leader seeks to unite, engage district workers

Kenny Blankenship’s earliest recollections of union activity go back to his childhood, when his dad — a member of the United Steel Workers — would take him to the Tampa Theatre for annual holiday parties. Kids would leave the theater with bicycles, toys and other presents, Blankenship said. But he also recalls seeing his dad on the picket line. Those early images of union life aroused … [Read more...]