Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough budget and athletics policy are headed for Sept. 11 hearings

TAMPA — Student athletes who transfer might be able to compete at their new schools, according to a policy moving through the approval process before the Hillsborough County School Board.

A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 11, after a 28-day comment period. If the policy survives another 20 days without objection, the board can vote on it Oct. 1.

Developed in the wake of a football eligibility scandal at Armwood High School and a change in state law, the proposed policy takes decision-making out of a principal's hands.

If the athlete has transferred after the start of the school year, he or she cannot play that year.

But the athlete can appeal that decision to a committee on a variety of grounds, including student marriage, a death in the family, a court-ordered move, or participation in the district's school choice program.

If the student does not get approval, he or she can appeal to the School Board.

School officials hope to have the policy in place in time for the 2013 spring sports season.

"You'll never get 100 percent success," board member Jack Lamb told athletics director Lanness Robinson. "But it looks like you're on the right road."

In other business, the board held the first of two hearings on the 2012-2013 budget and property tax rate.

The school rate is all but dictated by the state, as it is a condition to receive state school funding — in Hillsborough's case, that was $854 million this year.

The proposed rate would drop this year to $7.88 per $1,000 in taxable value, compared with $7.91 for 2011. The owner of a $200,000 house with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay $1,379, down from $1,384.

A second hearing and vote is set for Sept. 11.

While board members were happy to see a lower tax rate, Stacy White and Susan Valdes took issue with the information readily available to the public.

Valdes, who has asked for school-by-school breakdowns in spending, said, "I am still hopeful that we may be able to get individual schools' budgets."

White, who also advocates more transparency, said that while staff is cooperative when he asks questions about the budget, "I do plan to vote no on that until I can get further information."

Member April Griffin pointed out that, unlike other districts that publish thick budget books, Hillsborough has weathered the recession and state funding cuts without layoffs or furloughs.

Valdes agreed, though like White, voted no on the budget.

White found himself alone in his effort to introduce a policy submitted by Terry Kemple, a School Board candidate who has been leading a movement to end school visits from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The policy Kemple and White backed did not mention CAIR by name. But it did use the term "unindicted co-conspirator," often used to describe CAIR's inclusion in a federal antiterror case.

White's motion died without a second.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or


New principals

The School Board appointed these principals: Sherri Black, Cork Elementary School; Christine Hanjian, Woodbridge Elementary; Daphne Fourqurean, Metropolitan Ministries Partnership School; Danielle Shotwell, Eisenhower Middle School; and Sarah Jacobsen-Capps, Dunbar Elementary.

Hillsborough budget and athletics policy are headed for Sept. 11 hearings 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.