Escambia County School Board

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The Escambia County School Board is moving ahead with preparations for hiring the district’s first-ever appointed superintendent. Board members are in the process of finalizing the job description. Additionally, the panel is looking for citizen input.

As the district transitions from an elected superintendent to an appointed one, School Board Chair Patty Hightower and her colleagues want to ensure residents have a say in the hiring process. For her, community participation is crucial.

Escambia County School District

After five previous defeats, a narrow majority of voters in Escambia County finally approved a 2018 referendum to switch from an elected school superintendent to an appointed one.

The Escambia County School District is now laying the groundwork for hiring the district’s top administrator by next fall.

To help with the process, board members have hired a search team from the Florida School Boards Association; the estimated cost is $25,000.

Photo via Flickr// woodleywonderworks / https://flic.kr/p/8Jkhjr

The Escambia County School Board voted Tuesday to spend about $2 million for property, on which to build a new middle school in the western part of the district. The plan was set in motion last month.

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says the land, currently an abandoned airfield on West Nine Mile Road, is the school district’s answer to the booming population growth in that part of Escambia County.

The Escambia County School Board voted Tuesday to spend about $2 million for property, on which to build a new middle school in the western part of the district.  Dave Dunwoody reports

Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says the land, currently an abandoned airfield on West Nine Mile Road, is the school district’s answer to the booming population growth in that part of Escambia County.

Residents in Escambia County are being urged speak up about school discipline and school arrests.  

Community groups such as the ACLU of Northwest Florida and the Escambia Youth Justice Coalition are calling on residents to push for changes in the district’s disciplinary policies, which they say disproportionately impact African American students.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Manna Food Pantries and the Escambia County School District are working on a deal to move the non-profit onto the site of an abandoned school. The property is the site of the former J. Lee Pickens School on Hayne Street in Pensacola which has been vacant for 20 years. Dee Dee Flounlacker, the Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries says the deal is just for the land, not the building which was demolished last month.

Florida Senate

Local school districts – and not the Florida Board of Education – would choose textbooks under legislation filed for the upcoming regular session.

About 30 states now use the local textbook-selection model. The measure would expand a law approved last year, which gives school districts the authority to review and select materials without state involvement. The districts would only have to certify that their choices complied with state standards.