HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — The Hillsborough County School Board voted to remove the written medical exemption from its mask mandate. Now, there is a parental opt-out option.
During the school board meeting Tuesday evening, school officials decided to remove the written medical exemption and will now have parental opt-outs. There will be a 24-hour grace period, so students can show up to school on Wednesday without a mask. Starting Thursday, masks will be required unless the student has a parental opt-out.
This decision will keep the district in compliance with the State Board of Education requirement, so the district shouldn’t be fined, nor should funding be pulled by the Department of Education.
The School Board voted to remove the medical exemption opt-out requirement of the mask mandate. There is still a mandate with a parental opt-out for HCPS. The parental opt-out form is here – https://t.co/xFzcaKyDuB. This new mandate will take effect Thursday, October 7th, 2021. pic.twitter.com/GGUn07aaPO— Hillsborough Schools (@HillsboroughSch) October 5, 2021
The school board also discussed plans to create a long-term strategic plan to address the school district's operation deficit. ABC Action News has been reporting about the school district’s financial challenges for a few months.
Back in April leaders eliminated nearly 1,000 positions to cut costs, and that the district had a fund balance of negative $107 million.
Officials looked to improve their 5-year work plan. Within that plan, leaders say ensuring financial stability is a top priority.