Superintendent Rocky Hanna Reflects on First 100 Days in Office

Superintendent Rocky Hanna Reflects on First 100 Days in Office
Posted at 4:47 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 18:46:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna has now been in office for 100 days.

Monday, he reflected on his time leading the district and what he plans to work on going forward.

Hanna defeated incumbent Jackie Pons in the November 2016 election and has made several significant decisions so far. Hanna orchestrated the relocation of the "ACE" and "PACE" campuses.

He has also worked with the school board to pass several proposals including mandatory recess for elementary school students, designating the district as a "safe zone" from immigration enforcement, and eliminating "D" and "F" grades for students in kindergarten and first grade.

He plans to send $250,000 back to schools through budgeting to give parents less to buy for supplies.

"That school supply list for parents grows longer and longer every year. As part of a free and public education, copy paper, dry-erase markers -- some of those things should not be on that list," said Hanna. "They will not be this summer, so parents will not have as long of a list of back-to-school supplies, because I'm going to send a quarter of a million dollars back."

While Florida lawmakers are working to put more money into the state's public schools, Hanna says "it's not nearly enough."

Hanna says millions of dollars are being taken away from public schools and instead being channeled into charter schools through controversial programs like "Schools of Hope," which allows private organizations to potentially take over "chronically failing schools."

Hanna also questions the value of the state's "best and brightest" teacher scholarship program, which rewards teachers for strong scores in college placement exams.

"I am begging the governor to veto that line item, to veto 'Best and Brightest' and put that $200 million back into our base budget to give us the flexibility to spend it and give our people raises as we see fit -- not based on teachers' test scores. That doesn't mean you're a good teacher because you scored well on the SAT," Hanna said.

The House and Senate leaders agreed to increase spending overall for public schools by $241 million.