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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, June 20, 2017

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in Workshop Session Tuesday, June 20, 2017, beginning at 9 a.m., in the Silo Bend Event Center, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Lynn L. Gray, April Griffin, Sally Harris, Tamara P. Shamburger, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes present.  Chair Cindy Stuart presided.

Absent:  Melissa Snively (morning session only) 

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

      Educational Leadership and Professional Development – Tricia McManus

      Government Relations – Connie Milito

      Human Resources – Marie Whelan

      Operations – Chris Farkas

      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

      Fox 13 – Craig Cross (camera man)

Approximately 50 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Chair Stuart called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. adjourned for lunch at 11 a.m.

Reconvened at 1 p.m.

(1)   Budget/Financial Planning Workshop – Fiscal Year 2017/2018

This all-day workshop was held to provide an overview of the Florida Educational Finance Program (FEFP) final session details, and the changes taking place with school district funding for next year.  Presentation of the draft budget, plans, and strategies for balancing our operating budget.

Superintendent made brief comments. 

Gretchen Saunders, Chief Business Officer, provided a Powerpoint presentation and a binder of information.

Fiscal Review

The information provided at today’s workshop is based on requests made by Board Members at the June 8, 2017, workshop.

The public funds we receive must address the students’ needs in the most efficient manner possible.


  • Revenue
  • Expenditures
  • Transfer In
  • Fund Balance

As a government entity we follow federal laws and guidelines, the Constitution (both federal and state), Florida Laws, Statutes, and Rules & Regulations.
We receive funds from all levels of government:  Federal, Federal through State, State, and Local.
Information reviewed today will give details by various requests from the June 8, 2017, School Board workshop.  Revenue, expenditures, transfers equal fund balance.

  • Declining State Revenues (2007-2008)
  • Increasing Operating Expenses
  • Decreasing Fund Balance

When building the annual budget we use four goals to drive the process:

  1. Follow the goals that lead our decision making?
  2. Goal specificity and details in order to make sure the established goals/priorities are met.
  3. Revenue and expense planning are necessary and will minimize emergencies.
  4. Measurement of programs, processes, and goals.  Multiple evaluations and audits annually.

Over the last ten years building the budget has been challenging with declining state revenues, increased operating expenses, and a decreasing fund balance.

  • Salary
  • Employee Benefits
  • Decisions
  • Mechanics

Our annual budget consist of individual checkbooks:  General Operating, Debt Service, Capital Outlay, Special Revenue (Federal Dollars and Student Nutrition Services (SNS)), and Internal Service Funds

As revenue is collected and expenses are paid we continue to track our fiscal picture and make adjustments every day. 


  • Instructional Units
  • Instructional Support Units

Salaries and benefits as a percentage of total revenue:

FY 2016 Employees FY 2015 Employees FY 2014 Employees




78% 31,692 83% 31,342


74% 24,460 N/A 23,967 76% 23,873
Palm Beach 80%   82%   86%  
Orange 76% 22,701 81% 22,458 78% 22,036
Hillsborough 84% 26,034 86% 25,573 82% 25,031









  • Challenges
  • Decisions
  • Answers
  • Results


This bill revises the Equity in School-Level Funding Act relating to federal Title I funding.

After providing Title I, Part  A, Basic funds to schools above the 75 percent poverty threshold, school districts must provide any remaining Title I, Part A, basic funds to schools above the 75 percent poverty threshold, school districts must provide any remaining Title I, Part A, basic funds directly to all eligible schools.  An eligible school is a school that is eligible to receive Title I funds, including charter schools.

Schools of Hope:  To establish a School of Hope the hope operator must submit a notice of intent to the school district in which a persistently, low performing school has been identified by the State Board of Education.  This requires a school district to enter into a performance-based agreement with the hope operator to open a school to serve students from persistently low-performing schools.

A charter school operated by a hope operator which serves students from one or more persistently low-performing schools, is located in the attendance zone of a persistently low-performing school or within a five-mile radius of such school, whichever is greater; and is a Title I eligible school; or a school operated by a hope operator pursuant to a turnaround option.

Relates to persistently low-performing schools (a school that has earned three consecutive grades lower than a "C” and a school that was closed pursuant to s.1008.33 (4) within two years after the submission of a notice of intent.

Instructional Support Vacancies:

Maintenance & Transportation (other than bus drivers) 101
Bus Drivers 200
All Other (para’s, riders, custodians, etc.) 235
Total 536





There was general discussion to include:

Moving forward to 2017/2018 we will need to continue to decrease employees.  We are currently operating with 613 less employees, clerical and non-classroom teachers.  We currently have 500 vacant instructional and 500 non-instructional vacant units.  We will eliminate some but, not all of these units.

The passing of HB7069 has changed the way we allocate funds.  We must allocate funds to the school hampering attractors such as salary differential.  The Superintendent is encouraging Tallahassee to give districts one year planning, as of yet no decision has been made.  For over 52 years we have issued funds in the same manner.

Not sure if this will have an effect on the new administrative pipeline.

With a freeze currently in place, this will give us the opportunity to look at different options. 

District administrators need to be used as subs.  We spend $15-18M per year on subs, this would remind administrators of what we are here for, in addition to a cost savings. 

Athletics should be looked at very closely and a pay for play should be considered. 

Employees should be required to contribute more to their benefits. 

Many businesses who didn’t make huge sacrifices went out of business during the depression.

Need to consider freezing salaries.

Create a strategy to bring students back to our schools.

Financial reports will continue to be presented to the Board on a monthly basis.  Information presented today is as of June 14, 2017, final numbers for 2016/2017 are not currently available.

Five-year overview of athletics shows revenue is generated however, it is not self-sustained.  There are no gate receipts for cross country, tennis, golf, swimming.

Athletics help to keep students in school.  We need to make sure we continue to have scholarships for students who cannot afford fees to participate.

Virtual option provides flexibility for families.  Hillsborough Virtual the same as traditional sites and earn an "A” rating for the 2015/2016 school year in addition to a 90% pass rate.

The district does not earn Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for students enrolled in Home Education.

Internal Service Agreements (ISA) no longer come to the Board for approval.

Consider selling additional property next to various sites.  Would need permission from the legal team.

Air conditioning systems have about a 20-year life.  To replace an air conditioning system will cost approximately $55M.

Security is split 50/50 as part of a grant issued in 2013/2014 at 15 elementary school sites.

With no further discussion the workshop adjourned at 3:00 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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