Citizen Comments from the May 17, 2016 School Board Meeting

The following comments are taken from the minutes of the regular school board meeting on May 17, 2016. These minutes are on the June 7, 2016 agenda for approval.

Joe Piecora, Cheer Coach at Explorer K-8 School (EK8), came forward to speak about the championship cheer team.

Dawn Hurst came forward to speak about a bullying incident involving her daughter at Springstead High School (SHS).

Joseph Santana, Senior Class President and Student Delegate from Nature Coast Technical High School (NCTHS) came forward to thank the Board for allowing him to be a student delegate. He asked for them to continue the senior trip to Washington DC. Mr. Santana also asked for approval of the Video Production Class trip to New York City.

School Board counters county's offer on Mobley Road property

At the school board workshop on May 17th, board members agreed that the county's offer of $600,000 for the Mobley Road property across from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office is too low. According to the minutes of the meeting, the board agreed to a counter-offer of $850,000 which School district attorney Dennis Alfonso will send to the county. Appraisals on the property ranged from $625,000 to $1,043,000.

School Board, Third Budget Amendment Discussion


At the School Board Workshop on May 3, Kendra L. Sittig, Director of Budget presented Budget Amendment #3 for quarter ending March 31, 2016. She explained that although overall revenues increased by nearly $900,000, the increase was offset by a decrease in FEFP (a state program called Florida Education Finance Program) funding. The majority of the decrease in funds extend from adjustments for McKay Scholarships, $1,680,497. McKay Scholarships are designated for students with certain disabilities in order to give their parents an option in obtaining a private school education. Dr.

Schools Receive 100% Discretionary Funds for 2015-2016


Heather Martin, Executive Director of Business Services explained that the last remaining portion of the school's discretionary funds amounting to $192,000 was withheld from schools to help reinstate the third furlough day. However $489,000 in categorical funds were approved to get transferred into the general fund which will be used to reinstate the furlough day. Now the $192,000 is no longer needed for that purpose.

Normally, Martin explained that questions of discretionary funds are dealt with at the Superintendent level.

Library Time Limited by Lack of Media Specialist

The public school system within Hernando County has been struggling with funding despite the implementation of a half cent sales tax this year. Karen Jordan, Public Information Officer with the school district explains, "essentially, the state has reduced funding, other funding sources have not rebounded from the recession and enrollment has not increased significantly across the district."

Ann Scott, wife of Governor Rick Scott, reads to students at West Side Elementary School

Mrs. Scott Reads to Kindergarten Class at West Side Elementary

Mrs. Ann Scott the wife of Florida Governor Rick Scott visited Westside Elementary on the morning of April 13th to read stories to the young students. Mrs. Crisci and Ms. Tilton's kindergarten class anxiously awaited Florida's first lady, while she read "Gaston" and "How Full Is Your Bucket?" to Mrs. Addie's second grade class nearby.

Local 16 year old Accepted to Hofstra

Hernando Sun Staff

Taylor Blacklidge, accepted to Hofstra

Taylor Blacklidge, a Wider Horizons School student, has received early admission to Hofstra University Pre Med program in Hempstead, New York. Taylor has been a student at WHS since she was three years old, now at 16 she is headed off to college.

Hofstra University Pre Med program has awarded Taylor early admissions and a scholarship of $23,000 per year. For the four years she will be there, this will equal $92,000.