Panama City- It was a busy day for the Bay County School Board Thursday as they tackled two tough issues. The first was to decide the next step for a district employee whose son is accused of molesting a child.
Oscar Patterson Elementary Paraprofessional Sheila Perry found out Thursday she's one step closer to losing her job. The board voted unanimously to follow School Superintendent Bill Husfelt's recommendation to suspend with without pay moving towards termination.
Perry was absent from the personnel hearing as board members took only minutes to reach a decision. She's accused of bringing her mentally unstable son Quanzda Hillsman to her school last month where he allegedly molested a 12 year old girl.
"We really cannot allow this kind of behavior. She broke the rules and she endangered our students, and that's simply unacceptable," said Bay County School Board Member Ginger Littleton.
Perry has 21 days to contest Thursday's vote before the district moves forward with firing her. Hillsman was still behind bars Thursday on a $100 thousand bond.
Also on the school board's agenda was the district's millage rate and budget. Board members unanimously approved the millage rate at 6.858%, which is slightly lower than last year.
And there's more good news with the estimated $196 million dollar budget board members also unanimously approved. It's about $1 million more than last year.
But the board still had some concerns regarding the lack of PECO funding, which goes towards school maintenance and repairs. For the second year in a row the state directed that money only to Florida's publicly funded charter schools. And despite what many people think, the district said Bay County's half cent sales tax doesn't help the problem.
"I wish I had a nickle for everytime somebody said use the half cent sales tax. We can't. We can only use the half cent sales tax on what we told the public we were going to use it on, and so we just don't have any options right now," said Husfelt.
Both the millage rate and budget are tentative and could change at any point during the year.