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Hillsborough Sheriff joins oversight board for school tax

Sheriff Chad Chronister arriving at a meeting with the Hillsborough County School District [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Sheriff Chad Chronister arriving at a meeting with the Hillsborough County School District [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Sep. 24, 2018|Updated Sep. 24, 2018

Sheriff Chad Chronister has agreed to serve as vice chair of an oversight committee for the proposed half-cent sales tax to benefit the Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The school district announced his selection Monday morning. Betty Castor, who served previously as state education commissioner, senator and president of the University of South Florida, is chairing the seven-member committee.

Voters will be asked to approve the tax on Nov. 6. It is expected to raise $131 million a year over 10 years and  would support capital needs in the schools, including new and rebuilt air conditioners.

The district on Friday released a school-by-school list of purchases, should the tax win approval. 

Chronister already has a close relationship with the district because of his agency's role in the growing school security operation. In addition, the proposed tax would generate $23 million in safety improvements.

A series of town hall appearances by Superintendent Jeff Eakins continues at 6 p.m. Monday at Plant City High School. After that Eakins will appear Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Grady Elementary School.

A coalition of teachers union leaders and PTA's, meanwhile, is ramping up a grassroots campaign. Schools have also taken to social media to promote the benefits the tax would bring to their campuses.

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