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Painful budget cuts likely coming to Hillsborough Schools

Superintendent Addison Davis told board members to expect job losses, school closures, deep cuts to electives, sports and more.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough School Board met Tuesday to talk about painful budget cuts likely to include layoffs, furloughs and possibly closing some schools permanently.

Financial experts say the district is $116 million in the red this year and that’s only going to get worse if they don’t take drastic steps now.

A second round of CARES Act funding could offset $100 million of this year’s debt. But starting next year, Superintendent Addison Davis told board members to expect job losses, school closures, deep cuts to electives, sports and more.

“Can we continue to have under-enrolled schools that are costing us a significant amount of money, to operate every single day when we could potentially close, consolidate or re-boundary? I think that has to be a strong conversation with the next 30 to 45 days,” Davis said.

Davis agreed with board members who say the district deserves more money from the state, but COVID-19 is likely to make that difficult.

The board is also being urged to consider cost-savings by outsourcing non-teaching jobs like campus security, custodians, groundskeeping and transportation.

Other jobs that could be on the line include administrators, support staff and nearly 500 academic coaches around the district, if they don’t also teach classes.

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