Hillsborough County schools facing major budget cuts

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis told school board members Tuesday morning that tough budget decisions are ahead.

Davis says the district has been outspending income for years. The superintendent says grant funds have offset the deficit spending, but that won’t be the case in the next budget year.

“We have to be able to make hard decisions. We have to realign the administrative level support and potentially the instructional level. We will look openly at the district staff again. We will do an immediate audit. Anyone who is not in front of kids will be reviewed for potential cuts. Teachers will be the last potential conversation about how we impact potential cuts,” said Davis.

The superintendent says staff cuts, employee furloughs, and even the closure of schools with lower attendance is a possibility.

“It’s going to be very difficult. We’ve got to have the crucial and difficult conversations. This is the state of where we are with Hillsborough County Public Schools,” said Davis.

The Hillsborough County classroom teachers association says it’s premature to talk about staff cuts and furloughs because federal COVID relief funds will soon be arriving.

“Our state organization believes we are going to get funds upward of 220 million dollars, so we don’t believe furloughs are something that should really be on the table,” said Rob Kriete with the classroom teachers association.

School Board members did not vote on the budget Tuesday morning. The briefing from the superintendent was part of a workshop to let school board members know what the current status of the budget is now, the proposed budget, and any cuts that will be voted on at a later date.

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