TAMPA, Fla. —The Hillsborough County Schools district is inching closer to having the budget balance it needs to avoid a state takeover.
On Thursday, the school board met to get a financial update with a May 11 deadline looming to present a plan to the state.
What You Need To Know
- Hillsborough School Board continues to meet on financial woes
- District is awaiting a $100 million relief payment from federal government
- Previous stories on district's financial issues
The mood among school administrators was optimistic as they crunched the numbers. They say literally every day they're saving money and getting closer and closer to their goal.
"We are confident we will not, and I repeat we will not, have a state takeover,” said Chair Lynn Gray.
District officials say with the cost-cutting measures that are in place, they are within $10 million of having enough money to avoid going into receivership.
"We're going to be monitoring our expenditures and our revenue and hopefully our revenue stays stable and our expenditures go down," said schools CFO Romaneir Johnson.
The district is still playing the waiting game to find out when federal COVID relief funds will be released by the state.
"But along the way, every day, every minute that we work through this financial process, we recoup money," said Superintendent Addison Davis.
Gray said she wants to make sure DOE officials in Tallahassee know about all the measures that have been taken to cut costs, including difficult decisions like eliminating jobs.
But she said so far, she hasn't gotten a response.
"Do they not want to understand what we have done, what we will do? And we are definitely trying our best to make it work," Gray said.
As for how they'll come up with the millions still needed, Davis says they'll keep looking for ways to save.
"We're gonna roll our sleeves up and continue,” Davis said. “We're working countless hours to make this a reality."
There is talk about asking the community for help. But Davis added he doesn't anticipate any more jobs cuts in classrooms.
The board plans to meet again on Tuesday to vote on the financial recovery plan and submit it to the state. The board also decided to put a discussion about the district's mask mandate on its meeting agenda for May 18.