On April 24th, the Leon County School Board Members discussed several issues and policies at the Agenda Review/Workshop meeting. Staff gave a presentation on Tallahassee’s sports tourism. Staff noted that just within the past year, Leon County was selected to host the FHSAA beach volleyball state championship. Staff explained how this has improved Visit Tallahassee’s relationship with the FHSAA for Tallahassee to host championships. Mr. Jones asked what’s next for Leon County School District and Visit Tallahassee. Staff said that they are working to bid on extending a contract to host football championships, working to extend their cross-country contract, and other opportunities to host sporting events.
The Board discussed the issue of whether to continue to allow the public to use tracks on school property. Staff explained that allowing the public to use school facilities is a potential liability. Board Member Darryl Jones expressed concern about this stating, “The tracks for schools are seen as community assets, and I understand we want to mitigate liability, but are there means by which that can occur?” Staff responded that it depends on signage and that you would have to have supervision in place, which is costly.
The Board also addressed the cost of paying LCS employees semi-monthly rather than monthly. The Director of Payroll gave a presentation showing the cost to be $690,000 to just over $1 million per year. This amount would include additional payroll analysts, benefits staff, and bookkeepers to handle the doubling of the workload. Staff explained that getting information from the employers would be the first step in deciding whether or not semi-monthly pay should be implemented.
Furthermore, staff recommended that the implementation would need to occur in conjunction with the 24/25 fiscal year, and a survey of staff to see if semi-monthly pay is desired.
Mr. Jones expressed concern for working class staff members dealing with working class concerns. He stated, “One of the challenges they have brought to us is being paid once a month.” Superintendent Rocky Hannah stated, “I remember what it was like living pay check to paycheck even as a teacher, so we will continue to dig deeper into this issue. We’ll do some surveying when we have our recruiter.”
Mr. Hannah spoke on some of the issues surrounding School Choice and why he inevitably chose to even the playing field by using a lottery to limit the number of students choosing schools that were over capacity. He noted that prior to this change, children attending private and charter schools could chose whatever school they wanted. He stated, “Our kids who have been loyal to our public schools, they were getting passed over by these other kids.”