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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough cutting budget with warmer classrooms, fewer administrators



TAMPA -- Hillsborough school officials are looking to bump up thermostats and reduce administrative spending in the face of statewide education budget cuts.

Schools and district offices will be asked to push indoor temperatures to 76 degrees, two degrees higher than many currently do. The move would save almost a half million dollars.

The cuts range widely. There's a pilot project to privatize lawn mowing services in one part of the county. That'll save $100,000.

The district expects to save millions through cuts to district level jobs. Superintendent MaryEllen Elia offered few details Thursday on the positions affected. She expected to save about $5 million from a mix of unfilled vacancies, retirements and reassignments. Some people will go to work in schools.

That's better than layoffs, which School Board members and the superintendent pledged to avoid this year. People whose positions disappear will have other opportunities in the district.

The district expects to save $3.6 million by deferring a major upgrade in payroll-related software. It is cutting another $1.7 million from pushing off the purchase of GPS technology for school buses. And $3 million in savings result from 20 percent cuts to district-level division budgets.

Stay turned to the Gradebook and read tomorrow's St. Petersburg Times for more.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:40am]


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