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Hillsborough Schools don't expect more teacher cuts next year after influx of federal dollars

District avoids state takeover with $101M
Posted at 5:21 AM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 07:49:07-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — After announcing an influx of new federal funding amid ongoing financial issues, Hillsborough County School leaders say the district doesn't expect to cut additional teaching jobs next year.

"Right now we don't forecast additional cuts," said Superintendent Addison Davis. "We started out around 1,600 positions that we thought we're going to have to cut in the spring."

But that was before the school district received $101M in federal COVID-19 relief funds through the CARES Act 2 that will keep the district from a financial takeover. District leaders announced the funding influx on Monday.

IN-DEPTH | Hillsborough Co. Schools awarded federal funds to avoid state takeover

The district must use the money for COVID-related expenses. That includes all PPE equipment and programs to address learning loss that’s happened over the last year. The money can also go toward educational technology, summer learning, after-school programs, and mental health services

This comes as the school district has had to cut staff over the past year. In April, Superintendent Addison Davis eliminated around 900 positions from the district. That number is now down to 715 positions, Davis said in a Monday press conference.

However, 95 teaching positions are still likely to be cut altogether. Those positions are held by some of the district's newest teachers, hired in 2019 or 2020. Many teach "specials" such as art and music or physical education.

"The transfer process ends at the end of this week, so once that pool is complete we’ll be able to work with those 95 individuals, the human resources, and CTA [Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association] to be able to find a potential fit and allow them to sign and an opportunity to earn in another classification to keep them," Davis said.

Davis also said he and his cabinet will take furloughs, but administrators will not have to. This is just the first installment of the COVID-relief grant the district will receive $114M more in the coming months.