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Pinellas Schools

At six Pinellas schools, food and education go hand in hand

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A seven-year-old project seeks to combine education while helping kids from low-income families get fresh foods. The Edible Peace Patch builds educational gardens in Title I elementary schools in Pinellas County, particularly in areas that are “food deserts,” meaning they do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables within a 2-mile radius. Title I school are those with a large population of low-income students. The first garden was built in 2009 at Lakewood Elementary School in St. Petersburg. Since…

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Battle for Pinellas School Board centers on five schools

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Three of the four candidates for the two open seats on the Pinellas County School Board debated school performance, allocation of resources, teacher retention, and diversity during a forum Wednesday at St. Petersburg College. The debate took place against a background of publicity over the underperformance of five majority-black schools in southern St. Petersburg. And while the panel asked for specificity and concrete answers, candidates’ comments at times seemed to rely more on rhetoric than on facts and solutions. Joanne…

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Carol Cook faces rocky road in quest for re-election to the Pinellas School Board

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It’s a tough year to run for office if you’re a Pinellas County School Board member who wants to hang onto your seat. Of the three seats that were up for election this year, one incumbent, Janet Clark, declined to seek re-election. A second, Ken Peluso, was defeated in the Aug. 30 election. The third, long-time board member Carol Cook, is facing a runoff against first-time candidate Eliseo Santana, who retired as a civilian supervisor from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s…

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Pinellas schools need greater flexibility to meet needs of students, Charlie Crist says

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Former Gov. Charlie Crist heard many messages from Pinellas educators during a roundtable discussion Thursday. But one message stood out: There’s a “disconnect” between schools, upper-level administrators and policymakers. Policymakers and administrators have created a rigid, one-size-fits-all system that prevents teachers and schools from being flexible enough to meet the needs of individual students and the needs of the schools themselves. “There needs to be greater flexibility because, just like all kids are not the same, all schools are not…

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Pinellas schoolteachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons, School Board candidate says

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Pinellas schools are not safe and teachers should have the means to defend themselves and students should the need arise, Mike Petruccelli said Wednesday. Petruccelli is an Indian Shores council member who’s making a run for the District 5 seat on the Pinellas County School Board. He made his remarks Wednesday in response to an audience question during a school board candidates’ forum at a luncheon meeting of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club. Eight of the nine candidates running for…

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Pinellas County School Board passes tentative tax rate for upcoming fiscal year

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Pinellas County School Board members unanimously approved a tentative tax rate Tuesday that is a slight decrease from the current rate. The proposed rate is about $7.32 per thousand dollars of assessed, taxable property value. That’s about 5.8 percent less than the current overall rate of about $7.77 for school property taxes. The reduced rate means a homeowner with a home assessed at $150,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $915 in property taxes for Pinellas schools next…

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Retiring teacher and incumbent face off in Pinellas School Board candidate forum

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For the most part, the candidates’ forum in Palm Harbor on Monday night was a quiet affair – except when it came to the race for the District 4 seat on the Pinellas County School Board. That’s the race where incumbent Ken Peluso, a retired chiropractor, is facing Eileen Long, a retiring teacher. The crux of the dispute was Long’s contention that a teacher is best suited to the job. The subtext was that Peluso does not understand the problems…

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