Hillsborough County schools shuffle employees to save money in budget

Posted at 6:30 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 18:30:51-04

Dozens of Hillsborough County school secretaries are getting ready to move to new schools Monday. The county's budget cuts changed the number of secretaries required in each school. But some parents are upset about losing the first layer of security in the front office.

“I have to keep my kids safe,” Felecia Knight said.

Just like in the farewell drawing she holds, Felecia Knight said she's considered a key piece of the MacFarlane Park Elementary School puzzle.

“You would always want to keep your own kids safe, and that’s what I bring, I want to keep our kids safe I never want to see nothing happen to them," Knight said.

Knight has worked as a secretary at the school for 12 years. Now, she'll be moved to Plant High School.

The Hillsborough County School District said they're shuffling more than 100 employees. The county paid the Gibson Consulting Group more than $800,000 to do an efficiency audit. They advised the district to move secretaries based on school enrollment.

“Their assessment of our school can only be done if you sit here and spend a day in her shoes," parent Alysha Cobb said.

With more than 300 kids at MacFarlane Park, some parents said, they need Knight, that the buzzer and locked door aren't enough.

“She’s the first face to greet you she knows all the kids security wise we know as long as she’s sitting there, that nobody’s getting in that shouldn’t be in and nobody’s getting out that’s not supposed to be leaving," Cobb said.

Knight said, on busy days, you have to look out for people who don't belong.

 “We have to watch all of that, and it’s going to be a little harder a little rougher with less people in the office,” Knight said.

Knight said she has full faith her colleagues will do the best job they can when she's gone.