Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough Board eyes 4-day summer school

TAMPA — Hillsborough officials are proposing a four-day summer school week as they look to cut another $26-million from this year's budget, a consequence of the dismal economy.

At a meeting Tuesday, School Board members discussed a plan to close all schools and offices on Fridays this summer — a move officials said would save at least $1.2-million.

But working parents would need to change child care arrangements. Hills­borough Out-of-School-Time, a day care program, enrolls an average of 3,000 students in the summer. Nearly 17,000 students participated last year in summer school classes that range from Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test academies to academic enrichment camps.

Hillsborough has yet to work out the details of a four-day week, which Pinellas school officials also are looking at to save money. The Hillsborough School Board is expected to vote on the summer schedule next month.

"It would put money on the table," Hillsborough deputy superintendent Ken Otero said. "It would prevent cuts in other areas."

But the budget picture could get even worse. The state recently finalized a 2 percent reduction for Hillsborough's current budget, on top of $45-million in budget cuts last year. School officials say they could face another $29-million hit later this year, based on Florida's grim revenue picture.

The four-day summer week is just the start of cost-saving measures under discussion. School officials plan to review everything from shorter schedules for some year-round employees to how many square feet of space each custodian should clean.

"We said from the beginning that we don't want to lay anyone off. We want to hold classrooms harmless," said School Board chairwoman Carol Kurdell. "Let's try to protect what our basic mission is, which is to educate children."

Except in rare cases, school officials are prepared to stop allowing teachers to defer their retirement beyond five years, an option in the state's retirement program. Though relatively few teachers qualify, school officials anticipate saving more than $4.5-million because these experienced instructors are among the highest paid.

School officials also are examining support staff positions at middle and high schools and how they allocate custodians, teacher aides and assistants and school administrators.

Superintendent MaryEllen Elia plans to survey employees to get their input on the budget. But she cannot promise that the statewide financial picture won't get worse, requiring even more cuts locally.

Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

Hillsborough Board eyes 4-day summer school 11/25/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 11:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Prosecutors tried to delay a trial because of the eclipse. Florida judge cited 'Star Trek' in ruling

    Criminal

    The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they cannot be stopped by Monday's total eclipse, a judge has ruled.

    Schweta Kulkarni, from left, Rhea Kulkarni and Saanvi Kulkarni, from Seattle, try out their eclipse glasses on the sun at a gathering of eclipse viewers in Salem, Ore., early Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) ORDR102
  2. Top 5 at Noon: Mayoral race affects ballpark decision; stream the eclipse live

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

    Looking east at Tropicana Field and downtown St. Petersburg.  SCOTT KEELER    |    Times

  3. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

    Blogs

    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …

  4. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20

    Blogs

    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  5. Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis

    Movies

    The day the clown died, Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis.

    Jerry Lewis in 2005. Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 (New York Times)