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Hillsborough Schools kicks off community conversations about proposed millage on August ballot

Posted at 6:51 AM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 11:18:21-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — On Monday the Hillsborough County School District is launching a series of community conversations to talk about the proposed millage on the August ballot.

Here’s a list of all the community conversations, where voters can talk to superintendent Addison Davis ahead of the next school year:

  • July 11: Middleton High School, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • July 13: Armwood High School, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • July 20: Sumner High School, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • July 25: Alonso High School, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • July 27: Riverview High School, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • August 1: virtual, 12 p.m.
  • August 1: virtual, 5:30 p.m.
  • August 2: Gaither High School, 6-7:30 p.m.

A 1-mil referendum will be on the ballot on August 23.

RELATED: Hillsborough County School Board votes to include a millage increase on August ballot

ABC Action News spoke to superintendent Davis about the millage a few weeks ago.

“From our teachers, to support staff, to our school base leaders, to our district staff, we’re just trying to find a way to compete," he said. "We know that throughout the state of Florida, 21 school districts currently have an increased millage. The bulk of the school districts are using that to be able to recruit the best and the brightest every single day."

If approved, the district plans to use the money to recruit and retain experienced teachers and compensate support staff. Leaders said they would also use a portion of the money to fund art, music, PE, and workforce programs.

At the beginning of the summer, Hillsborough County had about 600 teacher vacancies.

“Without this opportunity, we just won’t be able to complete with the 21 counties in the state of Florida that have gone over and beyond financially to properly build salaried schedules that attract new talent and keep great talent,” said Davis.

Here’s how much the millage would cost if it’s passed:

  • $150,000 home value, pay about $125 yearly
  • $200,000 home value, pay about $175 yearly
  • $250,000 home value, pay about $225 yearly
  • $300,000 home value, pay about $275 yearly and so on

“I get it. Right now is not the greatest time. We have inflation, we have a political divide in this country, but one thing we can all come together and support is public education,” said Davis.

Hillsborough County Schools has been dealing with financial issues for a while.

“Over the last two years, me and my team have worked tremendously hard to be able to put us in compliance with the department of education. We’ve done a lot of proactive steps to be able to get us back to where we’re efficient financially. But now it’s trying to find to go over and beyond to really show our employees that they’re valued,” said Davis.

If approved, the funding will be reviewed by a citizen oversight committee.

“We know that a number of our community members may not have students within our school district but the economic impact that we talk about that would have on the students has given them a robust educational experience is priceless,” said Davis.