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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

On the lookout for the next Gibson Report as we follow the money in Hillsborough



Twice during Tuesday's special Hillsborough County School Board meeting on the capital improvements plan, top district officials mentioned the next phase of the Gibson Consulting Group report.

Transportation chief Jim Beekman mentioned it in an aside before the meeting. Facilities chief Chris Farkas mentioned it during the meeting.

Have they seen it?

Not the full report, district community relations chief T.G. Taylor said Thursday, insisting that the document has not yet arrived. Rather, he said, district officials have seen data that is being passed back and forth as the efficiency consultants verify it for accuracy and prepare the report.

What exactly will Phase II include?

This contract spells it out. 

Essentially, Phase II is a deeper dive into the topics covered in Phase I, which recommended the district phase out 1,700 jobs in the clerical, custodial, transportation and teaching divisions.

As we have reported in the past, the clerical workforce is already being reduced, and Chief of Staff Alberto Vazquez is speaking with the blue-collar union about changes in the custodial workforce. Janitors will work in teams, on night day shifts instead of day night shifts, sharing new equipment.

In transportation, a reduction in courtesy busing will improve efficiency, although there might not be a reduction in the number of drivers. If anything, it will cure what has been a chronic shortage.

As for teachers? District officials are eyeing non-classroom jobs such as resource teachers and success coaches.

Phase III deals with academic issues such as curriculum, English language learners, exceptional student education, career and technical education. Nothing in the contract speaks specifically to the issue of high-paid administrative jobs, which has been a point of contention among union leaders and social media critics.

The whole study, which costs $818,000, is expected to be wrapped up in February. A school board workshop on Phase II could happen as early as Oct. 11, which means the report would likely be posted in advance of that workshop as an agenda attachment.

[Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2016 8:09am]


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