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Fifth grade teachers Edith Bonazza and Patricia Castro. Image via AP.

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Hillsborough County Schools to layoff more than 300 employees

The cuts will reduce active payroll by about $45 million.

In an email to faculty, Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis announced the district is facing staff cuts and allocation changes — a move that will reduce active payroll by about $45 million.

The district is eliminating 333 positions currently filled, according to the email, although teachers hired before Aug. 14 will not lose their employment. However, they may be reassigned to open positions, including at their current institution or other schools. The district anticipates some of the teachers hired under temporary contracts after August 14 will not return, the email said.

Concerning district-level staffing, 20 positions will be cut in the next several weeks, following the elimination of 129 positions this past summer, according to the email.

The district has also identified 424 vacant positions that will not be filled for this academic year.

According to the email, the money saved from these adjustments, about $45 million, will help decrease the fiscal year’s operations budget gap. 

Administrators have already started conversations with teachers about the changes, according to the email.

“I understand there is concern across our community regarding teachers’ jobs being cut and inaccurate information that you may be hearing,” Davis said in the email. “Please understand that staffing adjustments occur every year in districts across the state based on student enrollment.”

During this time, master schedules, student schedules and teacher assignments may be adjusted, the email said, “in an effort to provide equity across our district.”

Davis emphasizes in the email that schools are not cutting programs such as music, art, IB or magnet programs — however, in some instances, teaches may have to provide instruction at two schools. 

“All students in K-5 will receive art, music and PE weekly, as we believe in the enrichments these courses bring to the educational experience,” Davis said in the email. “As we ensure equity for all students, art, music and PE teachers may be reassigned based on student enrollment. In some instances, teachers may be providing instruction at two schools.”

Reallocation decisions in the district usually occur at the beginning of October. Still, due to COVID-19, the district decided to make scheduling and staffing changes at the end of the 1st Quarter to provide a “natural transition for students, employees, and families.”

Written By

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at kelly@floridapolitics.com.

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