Hillsborough School Board meets amid financial crisis

Education

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County School Board is meeting for a workshop Tuesday morning.

The board will discuss the superintendent improvement plan and the district’s financial plan.

The meeting comes following a letter from the state’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, where he said the district’s financial condition has reached a point of crisis. Corcoran said the school district must address a projected $107 million deficit or the state will take over the financial decisions of the school board.

The school board now has until May 12 to submit a plan to fix its financial crisis.

According to a proposed timeline for school board’s financial action plan, the board will hold a special meeting May 11 to approve a two year corrective action plan and then submit to Department of Education. 

“I’m going to try and schedule and appointment with the Department of Education, take this presentation, take our model, show them and truly ask them for immediate assistance in this process for Hillsborough County,” Superintendent Addison Davis said Tuesday morning.

The board chair said last week that the threat of a state takeover is real. 

According to Corcoran, the law requires school districts to maintain a “positive fund balance of at least 2% for those funds that are not restricted, committed or nonspendable to avoid the potential of having a financial emergency.” 

Corcoran wrote in his letter that the school district’s fund balance does not meet that requirement. 

School board member Jessica Vaughn says it’s a problem the county has known about for years.

“I feel like in the letter yesterday from the commissioner of education, it was very explicit that these have been systemic, ongoing, long-term financial crisis that we’ve had since 2015,” Vaughn said.

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