HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County School District says they have now reached a contract agreement with the Classroom Teachers Association.
The agreement gives raises to new and existing teachers, but the agreement comes as teaches and administrative jobs are being cut across the county.
Early Tuesday morning, teachers at Pierce Middle School protested the proposed cuts to teaching positions.
“I don’t think it’s the right move to do, particularly in the middle of a pandemic, particularly in the middle of a school year and I think what’s not being recognized is the students are going to be impacted, the families of our community are going to be impacted the most,” said teacher Wesley Mejia.
Hillsborough plans to cut 149 district positions, 424 unfilled vacancies will not be filled and 246 classroom positions are projected to be cut.
“We will freeze hiring at the district level for administrative jobs, supervisor jobs, general managers jobs,” said School Superintendent Addison Davis who says the cuts were not easy but are needed. “It is important to remember that programs such as art, music, P.E., I.B. and magnet programs will be protected.”
While the agreement with the teachers union does give teachers a raise, Florida still ranks at the bottom in the nation for teacher compensation.
“Veteran teachers and all teachers in the state of Florida are grossly underpaid and undervalued in the state of Florida and I always point that figure at the legislature,” said Rob Kriete with the Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association.
The agreement must still be ratified by members of the Classroom Teachers Association.