Hillsborough school board talks financial recovery plan after federal money helps avoid $100M budget crisis

Education

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It appears the immediate crisis is over for Hillsborough County Schools as a last-minute surge of money coming from the federal government could save the district from a financial takeover from the state.

Superintendent Addison Davis said Monday the state has decided to use $101 million in COVID-relief money to help offset some major losses for the district.

The school board on Tuesday held a special meeting to vote on a two-year financial recovery plan.

The school district had been working to resolve its estimated $100 million budget deficit.

“We did everything we could by closing the gap by $55 million in the last four months and we were going to be about $9 million shy of it so this just come and just gives comfort,” said Superintendent Addison Davis.

Davis said he went to Tallahassee last week and learned the state would send the district $101 million federal coronavirus relief money, which will go toward covering computer equipment and summer programs for struggling students who had to stay home last year due to the pandemic.

The money is also good news for some teachers and staff facing unemployment. The school had discussed plans to cut 1,000 jobs, but will only cut 700.

“This is a celebration and this is an opportunity that after mitigation strategies that we put in place we now get a chance to avoid receivership in Hillsborough Public School District,” said Davis.

Davis says this will help him focus on the kids and their education instead of the budget as he’s been doing the past several months.

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