Education

Superintendent misleads PNJ and Board

February 20, 2012


On Saturday, the daily newspaper reported that “Escambia County School Board members said they were disappointed the district didn’t receive any credit from the school(A.A. Dixon) when the donation (of three school buses) was announced earlier this month.”

The announcement of which the board is whining was the one by the A.A. Dixon, an inner-city charter school, that Levin-Rinke Resort Realty has bought three buses for the school.The school district wanted credit for the donation and claimed the company had only paid for maintenance.

The truth is that Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and his staff had told A.A. Dixon that they would have to buy the school buses at auction. The price tag was $10,000, which the school had already placed on its January financials as a payable. Rev. Lutimothy May went out and raised the $10K based on that district’s demands—-something Thomas never thought he could do.

The amazing thing is the School Board and Thomas knew this. I was at the board workshop when they discussed the buses, their price and the challenges of getting trained drivers for the bus. A review of the tapes of the meeting will prove it.

What Thomas found out after that earlier meeting was that state law mandates that he give the charter school the surplus property. He had no choice but to hand over the buses–something that he didn’t tell Rev. May, the school board or the newspaper.

So what does the board do last Friday? Blindside and Chastise the African-America school principal. Thomas says nothing.

And Superintendent Thomas also tells the daily paper that he plans to give the charter school a 90-day notice that he will close the school at the end of this school year. The man is doing everything he can to sabotage that inner-city school with the help of weak compliant board and a daily newspaper that never verifies what he says.

  • Eric February 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

    In Florida, a superintendent may be appointed by the school board, instead of popularly elected, if the measure passes by local referendum. 26 Florida school districts have already done this.

    See section 5 in link.
    http://fcit.usf.edu/FLORIDA/docs/c/const/const09.htm

  • mark February 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    okay gang – let me say this one more time. Put in an SOS call to Teach For America and beg them to send a SWAT team to Escambia County and start to fix our K-12 problem. The entrenched bureaucracy will fight it tooth and nail but we must do it for the sake of our community. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results….

  • Escambia Schoolwatcher February 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    OK folks…lots of you agree that Malcolm has to go BUT EXACTLY WHERE IS THE POLITICAL PRESSURE POINT TO FORCE A CHANGE IN THE LAW to allow for hiring a professional educator instead of re-electing a good ole boy (yet again!)to lead us further into “the weeds” to use his buddy Bergosh’s words.

    State law? County commission? I frankly don’t know where to begin and have no power base to start from.

    How about this idea?

    Rick…you and Independent News take up this cause. You have a big megaphone…we don’t.

    I’ll do some volunteer work and I suspect many others will as well. For sure the News Journal will continue to ignore this…you’re it Rick, by default.

    This could be a HUGE coup for IN! Imagine the satisfaction of terminating the Malcolm Thomas Show!

  • Ames February 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Rick wrote: The man is doing everything he can to sabotage that inner-city school with the help of weak compliant board and a daily newspaper that never verifies what he says.
    end

    You are too kind.
    The School Board, the local paper, and Thomas are like-minded.

  • Cal Robinson February 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    What will it take for someone to step up and run against Malcolm Thomas and end this insanity?

  • jim davison February 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    the actions of Malcolm and the School Board are wrong on so many levels. If anything we need more charter schools in our community. Instead Thomas and the Board fight them at every turn. I agree – let’s take the politics out of public education and make the superintendent an appointed position.

  • What a way to run a school system February 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Good ole Malcolm.

    It appears Malcolm runs the school system like he does the surplus property the school board owns.

    The school board properties are unkept, falling apart, not producing, or have been condemned by the city, but Malcolm appears to think this is acceptable property management, along with high highly paid school board.

  • helpmehere February 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

    oh don’t worry about the sad state of our school system, we’ll just build 2 more new schools on top of the Taj Mahal we just built and everything will be okay. Same thought process as the County Commission. This county is an architect and contractor’s wet dream. The elected officials have buckets of public money at their disposal and they love building monuments to themselves. Meanwhile the real problems go unresolved as these people jockey for re-election.

  • Jamisea February 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I second that motion.

  • Escambia Schoolwatcher February 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Another staggering put-down of Escambia’s inconvenient minority population!

    But then, anything to look good for re-election eh Malcolm!

    The larger travesty is that Escambia County still elects its school superintendent rather than employing one with deep-bench education credentials. With county policies like this and our schools run by “good-ole-boy” politicos is it any wonder that Escambia County muddles along near the bottom of the barrel… down at #44 among Florida counties?

    The question is really very simple. Should our schools be run by politicians? Or educators?

    Think about it Escambia…THEN DEMAND A CHANGE!

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