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Other large Florida school districts are better funded than Hillsborough | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis speaks to the media on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall.
Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis speaks to the media on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jul. 21

A complete picture

Hard sell: Will a shaky financial history doom the Hillsborough school’s tax? | Column, July 17

The column on Hillsborough County Public Schools’ finances accurately presents the facts. However, crucial information is omitted whose absence, I believe, results in an incomplete perspective. While other large growing districts do face the same financial pressures, they are better funded to deal with them.

Florida’s “miserly state funding” is unarguable. In the 2020-21 National Education Association annual ranking of the states, the national median of total per-pupil revenue (funding) is $15,057. Florida ranks 45th among the states at $12,291. Hillsborough is just below the state average at $12,020.

Hillsborough’s total per-pupil revenue is currently $2,200 to $2,700 below its peers, Orange County at $14,206 and Palm Beach at $14,727. The reasons why are the huge inequity in state-required capital improvement funding, and the sales and property tax referendums in place in both districts.

Passing Hillsborough’s property tax referendum would provide $146 million or $625 per pupil. However, the gap in funding with Orange and Palm Beach would persist. Addressing that gap would require more funding from the state. It is also crucial to remember that Hillsborough’s significantly lower funding level has existed for years, contributing to declining reserves as the district scrambled to find funding for the needs of its students. The reality of the situation is that without significant additional funding, Hillsborough will struggle to provide competitive salaries sufficient to retain experienced teachers.

Richard Warrener, Tampa

The writer is chairman of the Hillsborough County Public School Board’s Financial Advisory Committee.

Idiocy is priceless

Heat waves are getting hotter and more frequent | July 20

I remember when gas was 17.9 cents per gallon (1972) and we drove like idiots. Then gas went up to $3 a gallon and we drove like idiots. Then gas went to $5 a gallon and we drive like idiots. What will it take for us to stop converting fossil fuel to brake friction? $15? Can we make the connection between how we drive and how much carbon dioxide we spew into the air as well as how much we spend on gas and brakes?

Tony Delcavo, Bradenton

No foul language

Obscenities everywhere all the time | Letter, July 20

I, too, am appalled at the amount of cursing I hear on a daily basis from both parents and their kids. I was born in the late ‘40s and can say with a straight face that I never heard any of those words come out of my parents’ mouths. Now where the #@%* did I put my car keys?

Charles Goding, Kenneth City

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