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Dozens packed Hillsborough County School Board meeting after district announced cutting positions

District said student enrollment is down
Posted at 11:36 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 23:36:42-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Parents, teachers and students packed the Hillsborough County School Board meeting after the district announced positions would be cut to help balance a budget.

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Last week, the school district announced more than 400 vacant positions will not be filled this year. The district also said nearly 150 district positions will be eliminated. Another 246 positions will be reduced.

Out of 246 positions, 124 are teachers hired after August 14 are on temporary contracts. Those hired before August 14 will be reassigned to open positions at other schools or remain at their current site until a position becomes available. Approximately 50 to 60 of the 124 teachers will not return.

"These steps allow us to reduce active payroll expenses. It potentially over the next 2 years allows us to save $57 million dollars," said Superintendent Addison Davis.

The school district said it is forced to make these changes because about 3,000 fewer students have enrolled than projected.

"It is important to remember that programs such as art, music, PE, IB magnet programs will be protected," added Davis.

Students, teachers and parents spoke during public comment at the school board meeting on Tuesday evening.

An art teacher told board members she quit her job after she learned she would be reassigned and her workload would increase.

"I quit not on the students, but I quit because I feel as though the district is not treating teachers fairly," she said.

The school district also mentioned other ways to save money including reducing overtime, reducing staff travel and a hiring freeze for all administrative jobs.

The district also pointed out the current plan allows the district to minimize impact on current, permanent employees.