PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Florida state representative is planning ahead for next year’s legislative session after a discussion Thursday with a local school district.
Representative Michelle Salzman sat down with Escambia County school leaders to hear about issues facing the district and changes they want to see at the state level.
One issue is crime.
“The gun violence happened 18 feet from our school grounds,” Superintendent Keith Leonard said.
Leonard brought up for discussion a shooting in September outside Workman Middle School as students played basketball. The suspect was booked and released in seven minutes. He wants to see a new law that prevents a quick release from jail in cases like this.
“When there’s violence either on school grounds or just off campus whether it be within 1,000 feet or whatever our legislature may determine to be appropriate. That [should] be a no bond,” Leonard said.
Salzman said she is pro-second amendment, but she is hard on crime and would support that measure.
They also talked about staff shortages.
“Part of our shortage right now is we don’t have enough substitutes,” Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Kelly Krostag said.
Current law requires retired teachers to wait one year before coming back as a substitute. Salzman supports eliminating that wait time.
“I would love for you, as soon as you retire, you can walk right into a classroom or walk onto that bus and drive that bus. What a great way, I mean just a great way to fill the shortages,” Salzman said.
The board also talked about the skyrocketing property insurance rates the district pays. Board Member David Williams raised concerns about Florida’s new set of standards for African American history instruction in schools.
Salzman will return to Tallahassee for the next legislative session in January.