Sunday, April 25, 2021

Hillsboro County School Board Shooting the Messenger

WEST COAST        
Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD 

The Hillsboro county school board, which has never been known for its competency at running an actual school board or a school system, is once again looking for a place to put the blame for the school District's long-standing financial crisis.

See this article from the Tampa Bay Times for some significant insight.

Tampa Bay Times By Marlene Sokol and Jeffrey S. Solochek: State threatens ‘emergency action’ on Hillsborough school finances


Tampa Bay Times By Marlene Sokol: Hillsborough school leaders blast superintendent Addison Davis in survey

Like all of the preceding Hillsborough County school boards, this group of county school board members seems to be incapable of recognizing the magnitude of the ongoing financial crisis. Not the dollars, but the reason why the problem exists.

They went out and hired a change agent, Addison Davis, to be the person to solve the District’s problems and promised to support him. He brought in a team to address the ongoing financial problems.

Not sure what a “change agent is?” Here is a definition:
External Change Agent: The external change agent is the one who is brought to the organization from outside. The company’s rules regulations and policies are not imposed on them, so they bring different viewpoints to a situation and challenge the existing state of affairs.

However, this can also be seen as a disadvantage, as the external change agent is not aware of the company’s history, work processes, and personnel. – Business Jargon

In typical Hillsborough School Board fashion, the school board members have turned on their school district administrator and deflected the attention from the actual poor management of the school district to the activities of the very person they brought in to solve the problem.

It’s the classic case of shooting the messenger. Or maybe more accurately classic political process when faced with a problem: deflect, deflect, deflect.

It’s time for the state of Florida to take over the Hillsborough county school system. Not just the financial management of it but the whole system.

For the most part members of the school board are nothing but a bunch of political hacks, more interested in pandering for public votes and courting the favor of the school teachers union.

This union is responsible for most of those feather bedding positions, and the old line “we will reduce staff and staff costs, but no one will lose their job” is just plain crazy.

Now the school board is trying to hide behind a poorly conducted school administrator survey, concocted to discredit Davis and his team, to justify deflecting attention away from themselves and onto their newly minted Administrator.

A new work plan for the school administrator?

That’s really just a bunch of hogwash. The current administrator is doing his job trying to reduce cost, pointing out the problems and asking the school board for their help.

Florida Education Commissioner Cochran is on the right track.

He just needs to be careful, go all the way, take complete control of the School District and not try to find a politically palatable piecemeal solution, where the current school board members can continue to operate while not excepting any of the responsibility of the current financial crisis.

Finally, don’t be moved by those tearful teacher faces filling up your TV screen during the evening news.

A lot of these people have been milking the Hillsborough County School District for years.     

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