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HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in Workshop Session Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 1 p.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Lynn L. Gray, April Griffin (arrived at 1:05), Sally Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively (arrived at 1:24), Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes (arrived at 1:08) present.  Chair Cindy Stuart presided.

Others present:

Board Attorney – James Porter                   

Chief of Staff:  Alberto Vazquez, Ed.D.

Deputy Superintendent:  Van Ayres

Chief of Schools, Administration:  Harrison Peters

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

      Academic Support and Federal Programs –Tracye Brown

      Business – Gretchen Saunders

      Human Resources – Stephanie Woodford

      Operations – Chris Farkas

      Outreach – Larry Sykes, Ed.D

      Educational Access, Opportunity, and Alternatives – Wynne Tye

      Teaching and Learning – Debbie Cook

Communications and Media Officer – Teresa Peterson

External Communications Manager – Tanya Arja

Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Kandee King

News Media Representatives:

      Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol

Approximately 30 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Chair Stuart called the meeting order at 1:01 p.m.

Superintendent Eakins made brief comments.

Gretchen Saunders, Chief Financial Officer made brief comments and introduced her Business Services Team: Susan Garcia, General Manager, Budget and Federal Finance; Libby Tuten, Manager, Planning and Related Services (units); Pam Hendriksen, General Manager, Payroll

(1)          Fiscal Year (FY) 2017/2018 Budget Workshop (Business Services Division)

The focus of this planning session will be open discussion or brainstorming of what our vision and needs are for all our students. 

As we wait for the Legislative team in Tallahassee to pass the fiscal 2018 budget, we will present our current financial snapshot and review the requests for the next school year.

The purpose of this workshop is to update the Board with information as of Friday, April 21, 2017, numbers, strategies, ideas, and plans.

Strategic Plan

  • Increase Graduation Rates
  • Communicating with Stakeholders         
  • Building Strong Culture & Relationships
  • Foundation of Financial Stewardship

Presentation contained forward-looking goals, beliefs, plans, and current expectations.  As we take into account information currently available, please remember the projections, estimates, and numbers are ever changing. 

  • Overview
  • Revenue & Expenses
  • Reporting & Transparency
  • Summarize
  • Next steps
    • Compare fiscal year 2008 to fiscal 2017:  students, budget, revenues, expenses, base student allocation (BSA)
    • Student numbers are up:  20,245.65
    • The general fund budget has decreased by $40 million
    • State revenues increased as we have an increased number of students
    • Local revenues have decreased
    • Expenses: More students, cost of doing business, fuel, utilities, etc.
    • Base student allocation: increased by $80.97 per student or, an increase of 1.9 percent to cover student growth, again over a ten year timeframe
    • Review of state & local funding

During 1995–2005 we built and opened over 60 schools, this was prior to the recession.  Our economy and state revenues have not completely recovered.

Currently the average earned per student, per year is $7,145.47.  The lowest earned has been $5,881, with the highest $29,632.

Since 2007 we have added more than 20,246 students.  The dollars received haven’t followed our student growth, and school districts are having to fund "mandated” programs with fewer FEFP dollars.

School districts nationwide have increased expenses and inadequate funding for:

  • Safety & Security
  • Exceptional Student Programs
  • Non-traditional programs (SAI and DJJ)
  • Professional Development
  • Technology
  • Textbooks
  • Transportation

At this time the district is waiting for a decision from Tallahassee to see if Special Revenue dollars, such as, Title I, II and III, will be decreased.

Hillsborough County is where people want to move to.  Dollars are needed to cover student growth, student needs, and growing operating expenses, etc.

When a tax cut or reduction in taxes occurs, our revenue decreases.

As suggested in the Gibson report, fiscally right sizing our district, with the reassignment of units both instructional and instructional-support.  Recognizing change and implementing the supplemental unit plan.  Updating, improving and remaining open to changing the strategic plan.

Recurring Plan

  • Reassignment of Units:  Clerical, Instructional, Reorganizations
  • Supplemental Unit Plan:  Ongoing Review of Units, Funding
  • Transportation:  Bus Replacement Plan, Fuel Contracts, Routes

We continue to review and make changes/adjustments to our budget and expenditures.  This year we filled instructional and instructional-support vacancies with existing employees, where possible. 

Mr. Beekman, General Manager of Transportation and his team are constantly reviewing and researching the number of driver vacancies, fuel consumption, past and present performance of tires, a/c units, engines, etc.  The bus replacement plan purchases 100 new buses every year for 15 years.  When the new buses are delivered, up and running we take 100 older and cost extensive buses off the road and sell.  Remember partial funding for these buses comes from the Community Investment Tax (Sales Tax).

General Fund Revenue

Estimated Revenues

  • FEFP  including categorical
  • Base Student Allocation
  • Appropriations (base funding/critical needs/high priorities)
  • Revenue Adjustments
  • Fund Balance (FY 2015, 2016, 2017 - Tracking)

General Fund Expenses

  • School Board Potential Goals:
  • Estimated Salary & Benefits
  • Compensation Plan, Staffing Ratios/Formulas, Student Allocations
  • Operational Expenses (Inside and Outside of Classroom)
  • Critical Needs (Students, FRS, Technology)
  • High Priorities (Base Budget, Budget Adjustments, Capital Outlay )
  • Expenditure Adjustments (Proposed Pilot for Area "Way of Work”)
  • Salary + Benefits = Total Compensation Package
  • Employee Staffing Ratio’s /Formulas
  • Students – Class Size

When first designed & implemented, in the pre-recession days, our plan was sustainable.  Projections of revenue and estimated teacher participation was decided.  The budget, revenues, expenses all projections are forecasts and they are never 100 percent correct.  Continue to evaluate what choices we must make to sustain the salary schedule.

Our Plan

  • Be creative
  • Strategic Plan
    • Supplemental Unit Plan to support Graduation Rates
    • Guidance Counselors ~ Formula Changes to support the whole student
    • Art, Music, P.E. ~ School Year 2018-2019
    • The budget reflects our School Board Priorities
    • Credit Ratings ~ Moody’s, Standard & Poors, & Fitch
    • Spending Controls
  • Gibson Consulting Group – Reduced Expenses
    1. FY 2016-17 Clerical Staffing:  $127,837.07
    2. Instructional Allocations:  149 units, Six Months ~ $5.6 million
    3. Transportation:
    • FY 2017-18 ~ Middle/High Courtesy Bus Riders $3.5 - $5.5 million
    • FY 2018-19 ~ Elementary Courtesy Bus Riders $5.0 million
    • FY 2018-19 ~ Aligning/Updating Bell Schedules $3.0 - $5.0 million

Next Steps

  • FY 2017-2018 (Session to end May 5, 2017)
    • o   Legislative Dollars
    • o   Florida Education Finance Program – First Calculation
    • o   Special Revenue Programs
  • Action items for follow-up:
    • o   May 2017- June 2017
    • o   July 2017 – September 2017

There was general discussion to include:

In comparison to districts across the country per pupil dollars are significantly lower in Florida.  For example, Washington, DC receives $13,000 per pupil vs $4,160 per pupil in Florida.

It is important for students to know at the end of their basic education what the value is.

With Florida growing at a rapid pace, we are faced with more students and no additional funding.  We have more students with less funding.  This year staff looked closely at budgets and units. 

There has not been funding for technology since 2005-2006.

If Special Revenue funding is reduced, we need to make decisions regarding programs we currently have in place. 

Remember when you hear tax cuts are being made this cuts into our revenue.

Transportation has a 15-year plan for buses, and continues working to get buses off the road that are costing us money.

As the end of the 2016-2017 year approaches, our focus is on how we can do better next year.  Unit formula is where the money is.

Rating agencies were very excited to see the goal we have and are heading toward it.

The future of public schools appears to be unsettled.  With Tallahassee’s mind on Charter Schools, will we be able to sustain the public education system. 

So many sites have roofing and air conditioning issues, these repairs should be a priority.

We keep putting money into a savings account and starving to death.  This is not a pre-recession plan.

Home values are going up however, our revenue is not increasing.  Student funding is the same as it was ten years ago.

It would be interesting to see how many districts do not abide by the class size mandate and take the penalty for not being in compliance.  If we were to do that what would the financial impact be?

A lot of people believe in public education.  As a board need to think about a mind shift, be competitive, what makes us different, and how are we marketing ourselves?  Parents will do what’s best for their children.  Make a lot of noise for public education, be attractive, and proactive.

With no further discussion the workshop adjourned at 3:02 p.m.  (Audio recording on file.)

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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