BRADENTON -- As the Manatee County School Board works through a policy overhaul, a procedural question lingers.
The board will have to decide whether to collapse human resources policies relating to administrators, instructional staff and support staff into one section or to keep them in three separate sections.
"We're at a point we're going farther and farther down the road and we need to make a decision. The farther we go down the harder it is to backtrack," Robert Johnson, district director of planning and performance management, told the board during a workshop Tuesday.
Collapsing the sections shortens the policy manual but would probably require subsections for areas where certain policies differ for the types of employees. Having three separate policies now creates redundancies.
The board ultimately made no decision.
"Both sides are valid. I'll admit I'm a little bit nervous to collapse them right now," board Chairman Bob Gause said.
All district policies are being overhauled as a part of a plan to "bring the policies into the 21st century," Gause said.
The board approved a $71,000 consulting contract with a company called Neola in July 2014 to help update the policies.
Neola has worked with some Florida districts to collapse the three sections, Johnson said, but board members ultimately decide how they want to structure local policies.
During the regular meeting, the board approved setting a public hearing on the proposed policy changes for Sept. 22, even though board member Dave Miner said it was too early.
Gause, Karen Carpenter and Charlie Kennedy voted yes and Miner voted no.
"Until we put to sleep or fully agree on a set of rules, I think that's just premature," he said.
Carpenter said the policies wouldn't go into effect until January and aren't "set in stone."
Proposed changes the board has agreed on will be posted online.
Those with concerns or suggestions about the policies can email them to the district at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.