Months of building tension between newly-elected Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna and the school board came to a head Tuesday as board members postponed a decision to move the Adult and Community Education Center to the Lively Technical Center campus next to Tallahassee Community College.
The move is meant to allow students at the PACE center to move out of portables and into a permanent building. Superintendent Rocky Hanna unveiled the move in February with little communication to the board about his plans. He’s called that a mistake. Alva Swafford Striplin says requests for information haven’t been satisfactory and Board member Dee Dee Rasmussen says she believes Hanna never meant to bring the issue to the group. Hanna took issue with the characterization.
“I’ve worked with PACE, I’ve worked with ACE, I’ve worked with Lively, I’ve worked with many schools," Hanna said. "I believe in my heart it’s the right thing to do. Now, I’ve been pushed, I’ve been talked to…if you all want to take charge and vote and try to overrule it, have at it.”
His decision was ultimately postponed by the board.
ACE Teachers and parents expressed concerns regarding the move at Tuesday’s school board meeting. The district is planning to hold a meeting later in April to address the move. Hanna believes it will save the district money and allow PACE students to move to a safer space, while utilizing the Lively campus, which Tallahassee Community College has expressed interest in possibly purchasing.