Leon County School Officials Discuss Impacts of $2 Million Award to TCC for Charter School

Leon County School Officials Discuss Impacts of $2 Million Award to TCC for Charter School

During the Leon County School Board agenda review meeting on February 7, 2022, the Board discussed the impacts on Leon County schools of the $2 million grant for Tallahassee Community College (TCC) for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) charter school.

The $2 million to TCC is “like a gut punch to Leon County Schools,” said Shelly Bell, the Director of Lively Technical College. “It will impact our schools,” although it is not clear exactly how, Bell noted. She asserted that it is time to talk with students in the district to see what CTE programs they want in their schools.

Bell explained there are programs available in some schools, like the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program at SAIL High School, which has been successful since its launch in 2021. Another example is the Culinary Program at Leon High.

Bell said, “in a perfect world, there would be multiple programs in every middle school and three or four career pathways in every high school.”

Some concerns expressed during the conversation were regarding budget, the replacement of currently offered classes for newer CTE programs, and pay and staffing issues to instruct the classes.

Creating more career pathways in Leon County Schools has been a topic brought up often by Chair Darryl Jones over the last several years. He enthusiastically supports this idea and wants to encourage bringing the principals of the high schools together to discuss this further.

Jones also discussed a Targeted Industry Study that resulted in three trades, the medical field, culinary arts, and building trades, with the most significant opportunities in the area.

He suggested working with the community to help with funding issues. For example, suppose there is a lack of talent in the auto mechanic industry. In that case, the LCSB might appeal to industry representatives to help fund the programs, resulting in certified talent who are market-ready after graduation.

Superintendent Rocky Hanna stated there is an opportunity to attract students to CTE programs that can be made available at some of the under-enrolled schools. Therefore, it may alleviate some of the congestion in overcrowded schools.

The conversation ended with direction to bring ideas back for additional dialogue.

18 Responses to "Leon County School Officials Discuss Impacts of $2 Million Award to TCC for Charter School"

  1. Leon County high school students can already dual enroll at TCC. Does this new move mean that Desantis can dictate what is taught at TCC? Teachers do discuss racial issues as well as issues surrounding gender, and many other issues that right wing parents object to. TCC can’t even manage the students it has–they paid off student debt with covid funds and don’t hold students accountable when they fail to go to class or do the work.

  2. Leon County high school students can already dual enroll at TCC. Does this new move mean that Desantis can dictate what is taught at TCC? Teachers do discuss racial issues as well as issues surrounding gender, and many other issues that right wing parents object to. TCC can’t even manage the students it has–they paid off student debt with covid funds and don’t hold students accountable when they fail to go to class or do the work.

  3. For the record, there are many high school students who attend regular school during the day and go to Lively in the afternoon. These students are awesome! Imagine graduating from HS and also having a certificate in a trade. I know one duel enrolled high school student that completed the electrical program and then decided to go onto electrical engineering school. He already had all the basics, code knowledge and hands on experience. I bet he was the star of his college class. Lively has full time staff that coordinates with the duel enrolled families and the school counselors throughout the county. The following is from their website “Located in Tallahassee, Lively occupies two sites, including the main campus and the campus at the Tallahassee Regional Airport. Lively also offers dual enrollment programs at Rickards High School, Godby High School, Chiles High School, and Wakulla High School. Part-time career enhancement courses for city, county, and state governmental agencies, as well as private businesses, are often held at the hosts’ own facilities.”

    Also, along with other great programs Lively has the second largest welding school in the country with over 170 students. Bet you didn’t know that. That being the case, why did TCC decide to duplicate it next door? Truth is, TCC wants the lively facility. Lively has been starving for resources while TCC is flush with cash, to the point where they’ve eaten up all the land around them. It’s a crying shame! This town caters to the colleges and state government, but many won’t find jobs in those places.

    On a related subject… Ever wonder why so much manufacturing is located just outside of Leon County? It’s because, with very few exceptions, our city and county governments make setting up an operation in Tallahassee difficult and unprofitable. If you want your average citizen to have a decent paying job you have to go out fight other communities for these businesses. Many people aren’t suited to work in offices… We did it with Danfoss Turbocor and it’s brought in hundreds of great jobs and made a huge impact on our economy. It blows my mind that so many politicians promise to fight for minorities and low income people yet prevent them from having an opportunity to make a decent living. And nobody seems to see this going on right in front of them.

    Maybe TR could actually go to Lively and speak with the staff. And don’t forget to tour the facility and take lots of photos, I think people would be very surprised to see what’s going on out there.(since 1937).

  4. Sally Info is correct!

    Leon County elected officials are all talk no action except when it comes to their enriching themselves, facilitating another elected official, and their own re-election campaigns. Or they create a board or focus groups to talk about issues such as the new police review board. (Leave the police alone and let them do their job).

    Here is the latest fiasco:

    County Commissioner Nick Maddox leaves the Boys & Girls Club in disgrace under a sexual harassment complaint. Nick Maddox should never been at the Boys & Girls Club. Here’s one person who knows that or should have known it and should have stopped it… and that is Sheriff Walt McNeil.

    McNeil sits on the board of the Boys & Girls Club. Was Sheriff McNeil aware of the hire of Nick Maddox to the Boys & Girls Club? Did he encourage it and even facilitate it?

    Why wasn’t Sheriff Walt McNeill screaming up and down no no no this is wrong (for so many reasons)!!!?

    Here is why it was wrong. Nick Maddox did not have the credentials to be the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club. I pointed that out when it happened. Also, it was a conflict of interest because Nick Maddox had to recuse himself on many votes on the County Commission regarding the Boys & Girls Club. The Tallahassee Democrat pointed out that that reason alone makes it illegal.

    Nick Maddox was double-dipping yet the Sheriff Walt McNeil did nothing to stop it. Walter McNeil should resign from his position of sheriff immediately. Sheriff Walt McNeil said and did nothing. Had he stepped up he would have protected the Boys & Girls Club from harm, but he did not.

    Nick Maddox will be voted out of office as there is no way he can survive the sexual harassment issue and voting to give infrastructure dollars to a stadium.

    Just like had the Supervisors of Elections allowed Scott Maddox to run for office when they should not have, due to that he did not live in the city, three people would not be in prison right now and some of the corruption in Tallahassee would have not happened. The Supervisors of Elections office failed us with Scott Maddox and caused years of corruption and Sheriff Walt McNeil has failed us with the Boys & Girls Club and needs to resign immediately.

    Kudos to the Tallahassee Democrat Jeff Burlew for his excellent investigative reporting.

  5. When I went to Cobb Middle School, I took Shop, Taught by Mr. Green, he also is known for drawing the Blue Prints for the Northwood Mall I was told. When I went to Lincoln High School, I again to Shop. I remember an old early 50’s Car behind the Shop Class under a big Oak Tree that someone donated because there was supposed to be an Auto Shop Class as well, key woods being “Supposed To Be”. Here is a crazy question, We have Lively Vo-Tech, which as stop several classes over the years, I took Auto Body Repair which I hear is no longer being taught. Why not have TCC join forces with Lively to increase their Budget so they can expand and add more Courses? The object is to get people Trained for a Career so, lets do that and keep the Politics out of it.

  6. You need to just go a few miles south to learn how to implement this program that is already, and has been, in their public schools for a number of years and a large number of Wakulla programs available. Sure their budget is just a ‘tight’ as Leon County budget. And they staff the classes, it seems, without difficulty. And I live in Leon County, but did a little searching and research and concluded Leon is always explaining why they can’t do something vs just ‘do it.’ Seems if the Leon public school system hasn’t done or can’t do it, don’t complain if some other charter tries and does. Don’t think ‘asking the kids what they want’ is encouraging, That’s why adults are elected to the School Board—to know!

  7. @ Rosemary,

    When the School Board and School Superintendent teach the Lgbtq alphabet rather than the ABC alphabet and the Superintendent looks the other way when a member of the school board doxxs, I disagree that it was wrong. It is so refreshing to see our governor take charge and lead.

    Perhaps you should take issue with Rosanne Wood. Well played, Governor!

  8. Why is this a gut punch? They should be talking with TCC about a partnership where HS students can attend TCC in the afternoons while still getting core class in the county. Would cut cost for LCBS and TCC and still retain the funding. It would also be a win for the students.

    I think it is time to replace 4 of the 5 members. They are not putting the health and wellbeing of the children first, they are not following science and they are violating their Oath of Office and the Florida Constitution.

    We did not elect them to be leaders, telling us what to do. We hired to handle the business of educating our children. They are hired help and we can and will fire them. We will look at the books and make sure they are spending our money correctly. We will review all courses and education material as it is our right to do so.

  9. I’m not understanding what the problem is… oh wait, students now have a “choice” of wither wasting their time in the Leon County Public Indoctrination System learning about Gender Dysphoria, or going to a better school to learn an actual trade.

    … I got it now, thanks

  10. Leon is among the few SD that have a dedicated employment training school (which those pushing the new program may or may not know). That is why/how giving the money to start a new duplicative program is just wrong.

  11. Good things happen when money is given to education and training outside the Leon County school system.

    The LCSB would have squandered the money at best.

  12. Tallahassee… poorest trained workers I have ever seen. Hopefully, there will be classes to teach painting contractors how to be professional, yard workers how to be professional, and restaurant workers how to be professional. The Red Robin restaurant in Tallahassee that recently closed was the poorest performing Red Robin in the United States; you would go in there and you knew the minute you walked in it was going to be a nightmare. Same for BJ’s, Beef O Brady’s, McDonald’s, Etc.

    I have work crews coming in my yard driving on my grass, driving on my utilities not wearing shirts, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths using gasoline equipment, spitting, vaping, etc. The worst!

    Crews show up and you think you are getting a professional team of workers and you get a husband and wife, a husband and pregnant wife, a husband and wife with a husband with an ankle bracelet, but no qualified, licensed, insured, trained two member teams.

    A reputable painting chain locally recommended three painters: One did not show up for the quote… he forgot, one had been arrested for illegal dumping, and one was being sued in small claims court.

    This is what you get when you have a Chamber of Commerce that Shake Rattle and Roll in Destin and Amelia Island, corruption among our elected officials, a joke for a mayor, Jokers on the County Commission and City Commission, the latest being sexual harassment.

    I am sick of dealing with these morons and what these morons have created. Thank you Governor DeSantis for stepping up and creating a way out of this hell-hole.

  13. Obviously snidely whiplash misunderstood. The gut punch was that lively did not get the funds and the director is working on a shoestring budget.

  14. It would also be great if someone would copy and paste my comments onto the Tallahassee Reports Facebook post. It’s important… Thanks

  15. Lively and other trade schools in Florida are providing a great service to many people who are not going to college and need to kick off their careers with solid training, and Shelly Bell is fighting hard to keep these programs going. Many people in our community, including well known business owners, got their start at Lively.

    The people in Florida don’t even know what a real trade school looks like. I visited a tech school in North Carolina a while back, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. They had an incredible facility and all the best equipment money could buy. Obviously, NC has decided if they want a great economy and companies with good paying jobs, they need to provide a well trained workforce. I spoke to someone in the know and found out that the difference is that Florida is the only state in the country where the local school districts manage the technical schools. Where are the resources going to go, to the trade schools or K-12? No one shows up to the school board meetings to speak up for trade schools, so naturally they don’t get the attention they deserve. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way it is. The instructors at Lively (who are mostly tradesmen) are responsible for creating their own curriculum, acquiring their equipment and supplies, all while trying to teach. There’s no coordination from the state. If you want to teach a math class, there are probably ten other teachers in the district teaching the exact same course and they can share lesson plans with the push of a button. This is not true with Career and Technical Education (CTE).

    The problem is at the state level. DeSantis said he was going to make Florida #1 in CTE. I hope he starts by going to North Carolina to see what a real CTE system looks like. We need to demolish our state CTE system and rebuild it from the ground up. Lively and other tech schools have been making do with very few resources and coordination for a very long time…

    In addition to the training I received at Lively I also had technical training in the military, so I know how incredibly valuable a well equipped trade school can be. I also know how much our young people are missing. It breaks my heart.

    I don’t feel comfortable bringing this up publicly, so it would be great if you could contact your state representatives…

  16. The local school board has been dragging their feet and resisting offering meaningful training which would offer minority often fatherless childern an option to get a piece of The American Pie other than their current
    3 options of drug sales, prostitution, and gang life. The LCSB would have just diverted that $2M grant into another version of their queer conversion program for your kiddies anyways.
    Thank God you loosers did not get your demonic hands on that $2M.
    It should be of interest though that the above article does not address where the $2M grant came from and why the school board feels they should have gotten that $2M. Obviously the school board must feel that way due to making the statement that it is like a “gut punch” feeling that they did not get their hands on that $2M.

  17. Monopolies hate competition and the LCS Board, particularly Rocky ‘Napoleon’ Hanna, hate charter schools because they highlight the inadequacy and incompetence of the teacher-union-driven agenda running LCS.

  18. If Leon County public schools were doing a good job educating the community, there would be no need for a TCC Charter School. Do your job well, and you won’t suffer a gut punch from people who feel like they are not getting their money’s worth from your efforts. Its really as simple as that.

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