Pasco County schools Superintendent Mike Hester says he is planning to move a districtwide clinic from the nearby Georgia-Florida border to a more remote area, as part of a plan to provide the district with better medical care.
Hester said in a statement that he is working with the Georgia Health Department to find an appropriate location.
“We’re hoping to get a location closer to the area where our office is, but at the moment we’re not sure where,” Hester wrote.
“I think that’s something we’ll get to sometime in the next couple of weeks.”
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He says school districts in his district have tried other locations for years, but “not at the level that we’re looking for.”
The school district has about 200 employees and roughly 1,100 students.
Pasco School District spokesman Tim Huggins told The Washington Times that Hester has been asked to reconsider and that the district is working to find a location.
More on this story: Pascom County Schools, Pasco schools board meet to discuss health care plan.
More: The district plans to spend $1.5 million on medical care for its teachers and students.
It is the first year the district has spent any money on health care.
Pasco School Superintendent Mike Ellerbeck said he was glad the district was moving the school, but said he would have preferred to keep the facility at the Pasco Regional Health Authority.
The district spends about $10 million annually on health services, but its finances have worsened in recent years.
Pascom schools board members are scheduled to meet at noon Monday to discuss the district’s medical care plan, which includes $1 million for the school.
The district’s health care plans were announced in December 2015.
Hester said the district plans “to do what is necessary to provide our teachers, our students, and our students’ families with the care that they need.”
Hester also said that the school’s health center is not equipped to care for children who have certain diseases or injuries.
“I have to be honest with you, the facilities we have, the staff that we have are not up to the standard that we need to be to provide these services,” he said.
“So it’s an ongoing effort.
We have a very high demand for services, and the district just isn’t able to meet that demand.”
In a statement, the Pascom Regional Health Agency said that it is working on a plan with Pasco Health, Pascom Public Schools and the school district to provide health care to its students and staff.
“We are working closely with Pascom Schools and Pascom Districts health plans to provide this care to our students and employees as quickly as possible, and to ensure the health of all those involved,” the agency said.
In the statement, PasCom Public Schools said it will “work closely with our health plans and Pasco Districts to ensure our schools remain safe and healthy,” but added that “in the interim, we will provide our staff with care, including medical care.”