VOTE YES!

AUGUST 23rd

THE PROBLEM

Hillsborough County Public Schools’ new leadership has worked hard over the last two years to pull our local school district out of a $150 million deficit. In response to these problems, the district’s leadership has made tough choices to cut costs. The district instituted a hiring freeze, resulting in more than 1,000 phased out positions, reassigned hundreds of staff to ensure high-need schools were supported, and are implemented new budget controls to limit spending.

Alarmingly, Hillsborough accounts for roughly 10% of Florida’s teacher vacancies. The national teacher and support staff shortage is alarming. Our district has 1,000 unfilled positions. In Hillsborough, experienced and successful teachers earn salaries only slightly higher than early career teachers. Due to this, many teachers are moving on to higher-paying surrounding counties or changing careers completely.

National and local trends have severely undermined thedistrict’s ability to attract high-quality and experienced teachers and its ability to pay competitive market wages.

Twenty one other Florida counties have approved millage referendums, and school districts surrounding Hillsborough have a competitive advantage in recruiting staff away from our schools. Hillsborough County ranks 45 among 67 Florida districts in state and local per-pupil funding, and last among Florida’s large districts.

Our district has 1,000 challenging unfilled positions. In Hillsborough, experienced and successful teachers earn salaries only slightly higher than early career teachers.

Due to this, many teachers are moving on to higher-paying surrounding counties or changing careers completely.

THE SOLUTION

  • Hillsborough County Public Schools district is asking voters to support a small, four-year property tax increase that would amount to $19 for the average homeowner, per month. The tax would be one (1.0) mil and would go away completely after four years.
  • The one mil increase is primarily designed to retain experienced teachers, compensate support staff (such as bus drivers, maintenance workers, food service staff, custodial staff, and other non-instructional staff), and meet operational needs in art, music, PE, and workforce education.
  • Sixteen percent of the overall revenue generated from this millage will go towards charter schools, supporting local school choice, and its teachers and support staff.
  • The remainder will go to the school district, which will spend the bulk of its share on increasing compensation for teachers, bus drivers, classroom assistances, and other staff – allowing the district to compete with surrounding counties for instructional and non-instructional staff.

ENDORSEMENTS

“As a longtime educator, former President of USF, former Commissioner of Education, and current Chair of the Citizens Oversight Committee, I strongly endorse the Hillsborough County Public School referendum.  I understand that these funds are desperately needed to improve teacher salaries and prevent the loss of our highly qualified staff.”  

Betty Castor

Educator

“The Tampa Bay Chamber supported the Hillsborough County Public Schools 1 Mil Operating Milage Increase Referendum because our Board of Directors understands that adequately funding a robust education system is paramount to a strong and prosperous business community.”

Andy Mayts

Tampa Bay Chamber Chairman

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