Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis presented his budget plan to school board members at a workshop Tuesday morning.

What You Need To Know

  • Superintendent Davis says district spends 87% of its budget on salaries, benefits

  • He has made proposals for next 2 school years

  • Plan has drawn harsh criticism from Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association

  • More Hillsborough County headlines

"This plan has to happen," said Davis.

He showed board members examples of state funding cuts and overspending in the district.

Davis said the district spends 87% of its budget on salary and benefits and he said that number should be in the low 80's for "true balance."

Davis said at the end of this school year the district will be looking at a negative fund balance in the millions.

He said if the reserve falls below 3% the state can takeover control.

"We've got to make some hard decisions," Davis said.

During the 2020-2021 school year he proposes:

  • Identify and create a revenue stream
  • 12 month employees work four, 8 hour days in June
  • Employee attrition
  • Reduce overtime by 50%
  • Reduction in district non-salary budgets
  • Transfer to appropriate grants
  • Reduce travel

In 2021-2022 school year:

  • Realignment of over-allocated positions
  • Implement three furlough days for all employees
  • Employee attrition
  • Re-negotiate SPARK compensation

"The issue becomes is that when you have challenges and you expend more than you generate, eventually it catches up to you and that's the situation we're in," Davis said.

He said the district also needs to look at possibly closing some schools with low enrollment and it needs to evaluate its Magnet programs with low enrollment, as well.

"We have got to get another revenue stream or we've got to get additional funding from the state to help is through this process," Davis said.

Several school board members questioned how much money is being lost to charter schools.

Board member Nadia Combs also said she wants to make sure principals are involved in the process.

"I know we're going to have to make very difficult decisions about class sizes and programs and allowing principals to make those decisions and looking at the programs and seeing what they want to save and not save," she said.

The plan is already drawing harsh criticism from the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.

During the meeting, the organization tweeted, "We will not accept any furloughs for our members. There are legitimate changes the district can make but make no mistake that instructional and employee compensation are not the problem."

The district is waiting to see if it gets additional funding from the CARES Act which could help off-set Covid-related expenses.

Davis also talked about the possibility of pushing for a property tax increase in the future to help pay for school district expenses but he said that can't happen until 2022 and it would take a lot of community support.

He said he is meeting with principals now and expects to have more information about workforce reduction plans next month.