Listed below are notes from the May 11th Leon County School Board meeting.
- Superintendent Rocky Hanna recognized the Technology Information Services Department for Leon County. He highlighted the preparation and hard work the department put into obtaining and distributing thousands of computers to staff and students for the 2020-2021 school year. Moreover, the continuation of programming and technical help throughout the pandemic.
- Principal Doug Cook recognized the James S. Rickards High School as the state championship victors of the Science Olympiad. The team went undefeated and placed first in the Florida State Championship and have earned a place in the National Championship competition next weekend.
- Amya Wayman, the founder of the Girl Flow Project, spoke during the Board meeting requesting their continued support for the project to end “period poverty.” The goal is to distribute feminine hygiene dispensers and free hygiene products across all schools in Leon County.
- Jessica Janasiewicz, a governmental consultant to the School Board, discussed some of the bills which were passed or did not pass during the recent legislative session. Janasiewicz highlighted the budget and funding for the upcoming school year.
- Enrollment for next fall is down 1,200 students, which impacts federal funding.
- The House has directed how the $30 million of federal funding, ESSER II, should be applied; $1.2 million should be used to find missing/new students, $6 million should be allocated to the recovery of learning loss, $1.5 million to improve access to technology, $7.4 million is allotted to the spending plan configured and submitted by the Board, and the remaining $13.9 million should be used according to the parameters set by the legislation.
- Superintendent Hanna remarked on the allocations of the ESSER II funds dictated by the state, asserting that originally the FDOE was going to allow school districts to have free reign of the funds, but then the legislature decided to assign parameters. Hanna continued, “it’s hypocritical when you have the governor and the legislature talk about the sovereignty of Florida when it comes to the federal government not imposing their will on the state of Florida, but then they turn around and do the same thing to local school districts. It’s ridiculous that they are applying restrictions to funds, but I find it hypocritical that the legislature is going to make us jump through hoops.” Hanna did say he is appreciative of the funding but that the school districts should have the autonomy to use the funds as needed.
- DeeDee Rasmussen argued that Hanna’s comments are not helpful and do not serve a purpose for the Boards cause. She continued, “…to make disparaging remarks about other elected officials, this is not the time for politics, that is for the campaign season.” Rasmussen maintained that for now they need to work together and work within the system.
- Jillian Gregory spoke regarding the summer programs that will be offered to students. Some of the programs will assist students in transitioning to new schools or grade levels. There are programs to promote literacy as well as summer academy for those children who did not perform well during the school year. There are eight programs offered over a five-week period. The programs cost is estimated around $1.5 million.
- In an effort to increase vaccinations among Leon County Schools staff, mobile units are traveling to schools to offer the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes after comments made by Board member Rosanne Wood during the last Board meeting, about increasing the number of vaccinations among faculty. The mobile units are vaccinating staff and students at Leon County high schools first. Then, next week, they will circulate to middle and elementary schools for faculty only.
- Chair Joy Bowen is advocating for a workshop to be prepared to instruct African American boys and girls how to communicate and interact with the police, should they be stopped. She feels it is important topic to discuss.
Well stated, LB… well stated. I am in 100% agreement with your direct, honest, and pragmatic assessment and recommendations.
1. Ms. Wayman: The parents and the children can relinquish one cell phone line or opt for a lower level of cable service to offset the cost of feminine hygiene products. Likewise for anything similar for boys such as protective “sports equipment.”
2. ESSER II Funds: The recovery of “learning loss?” What in the hell is “learning loss” and why weren’t the kids taking advantage of that which was offered to compensate for classroom attendance? Perhaps some of that allocation should be applied to remediation of grammar, manners, and proper dress. Children in public schools should be led by the examples of people who speak, conduct, and present themselves understandably, civilly, neatly, and cleanly. Fashion may change but those features don’t. The odds are far better that children will mature into responsible and productive adults than public schools now produce if those requirements are taught and imposed. Speaking of remediation, let’s apply part of that funding for the same purposes but aimed at the children’s parents-regardless of race or income. I, for one, would have no objection to a tax increase to ensure those results.
3. Ms. Bowen: Please read #2 and prepare a memo for wide distribution.
“Chair Joy Bowen is advocating for a workshop to be prepared to instruct African American boys and girls how to communicate and interact with the police, should they be stopped.””
Isn’t this going against all of the Black Community Leaders and Ben Crump’s beliefs?
“Chair Joy Bowen is advocating for a workshop to be prepared to instruct African American boys and girls how to communicate and interact with the police, should they be stopped.”
Beware a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This could be a backdoor to the NaziCrat’s Race & Hate Training agenda known as Critical Race Theory.
And exactly why is it that – according to Bowen – only black children need this instruction? Is she not stereotyping here?… Is she exposing her own racist proclivities?… Is she not aware that contrary to the false narrative, and constant with the actual Federal data… that more white youth are killed by LEOs than black youth? Is she not aware that the vast majority of black youth; I repeat, the VAST MAJORITY of black youth are killed by other black youth?
… and don’t even get me started on “period poverty”
Hanna, HYPOCRISY is bowing down while kissing the ring of the governor and republican control legislators while jumping double dutch through hoops to get a sliver of control of “free reign” funds. Fuggedaboutit!
Something Benjamin Crump should have been advocating years ago… I wonder why he would not want men of color to comply? I can’t think of one reason, but I can think of 17 million reasons???
“Chair Joy Bowen is advocating for a workshop to be prepared to instruct African American boys and girls how to communicate and interact with the police, should they be stopped. She feels it is important topic to discuss”…it’s about time !