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Hillsborough County Schools superintendent outlines district staff allocation changes, job cuts

Addison Davis outlined the school district's current plan in a letter to parents.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Superintendent Addison Davis is looking to clear up some information regarding job cuts and staff allocations coming to the Hillsborough County school district.

In a letter to parents, Davis' said he was reaching out to clear-up "inaccurate information" that families might be hearing. 

"In the past 24-hours, many of our administrators started having conversations with teachers about upcoming staff allocation changes. I understand there is concern across our community regarding teachers’ jobs being cut and inaccurate information that you may be hearing," Davis said. 

"Please understand that staffing adjustments occur every year in districts across the state based on student enrollment."

A sentiment a district spokesperson echoed saying the changes that are coming are not new, but rather occur yearly. But with the pandemic, things look a bit different this year.

According to the district, master and student schedules and teacher assignments may be adjusted for equity across the district. A process that usually occurs at the start of October, but due to COVID-19 and the changes it brought to schools it moved changes until the end of the first quarter.

The decision was made in an effort to "provide for a natural transition for students, employees, and families."

And while changes are coming, Davis said music, art, IB, or magnet components will not be cut and that decisions are going to be made in a way that protects the "classroom experience" and minimizes the impact on the teaching staff.

While the programs will not be cut, teachers in those subjects might be reassigned base on student enrollment numbers, according to the letter sent to parents. 

Davis offered the following details to provide clarity on adjustments:

  • 424 vacant positions have been identified that will not be filled for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Based on a recent staffing allocation audit, the district is eliminating 333 positions that are currently filled. While teachers hired prior to August 14, 2020 will not lose their employment, they may be reassigned to open positions at other schools or assigned a different role at their current site. It is anticipated that some of the teachers hired under temporary contracts after Aug. 14 will not return.
  • On district-level staffing, 129 positions were eliminated this past summer with another 20 positions identified for cuts in the next several weeks.

Regarding those hired after on temporary contracts after Aug. 14, the district's spokesperson says about 105 people fall under this category. But that the announcement does not mean that all of their jobs will be cut. 

The positions lost will depend on a pool that is set to figure out where placements are and are not needed. Depending on the results some will be re-assigned, while others will not. The district expects the total people cut will be less than 105. 

An update on positions is expected on Oct. 26.

Adjustments are set to "reduce active payroll by approximately $45 million, which helps decrease our operational budget gap for this fiscal year," Davis said.

The superintendent thanked families for their support during this time and while the district makes difficult choices. 

"As we make these difficult changes, we remain focused on aligning supports and providing resources for our classrooms while maintaining required class sizes," Davis said. "Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we achieve our shared vision of creating a world-class learning experience in every school, every classroom, every day."

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