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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 28, 2015

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in workshop session April 28, 2015, at 9 a.m., in the Staff Conference Room, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Acting Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Board Members Doretha W. Edgecomb, April Griffin, Sally Harris, Carol Kurdell, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes present. Chair Valdes presided.

Others present:

School Board Attorney – Jim Porter

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:
     Academic Support and Federal Programs – Larry Sykes
     Administration – Lewis Brinson
     Business – Gretchen Saunders
     Curriculum and Instruction – Denny Oest
     Facilities – Chris Farkas
     Human Resources – Stephanie Woodford
     Information and Technology – Anna Brown
     Student Services – Wynne Tye

Communications Officer – Stephen Hegarty
Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Patti McBride

News Media Representatives:
     Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol
     Tampa Tribune – Erin Kourkounis

Approximately 11 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Chair Valdes called the workshop to order at 9:08 a.m., commenting that Jim Hamilton would be joining the conversation via conference call from Tallahassee.

(1) Fiscal Year 2015/2016 Budget Planning Workshop – Part I (Business & Facilities Divisions)

This workshop was held to review the general operating and capital outlay budget with the Board.

Mr. Eakins provided a brief overview of today’s (April 28) morning and afternoon workshops, and the focus on our capital budget and categorical funds.

Dr. Hamilton and Connie Milito (via conference call from Tallahassee) provided an update on the Legislative Session – discussion included:

  • Budget (still at a standoff); slight increase in student funding, concern continues to be over categorical; hopeful that the budgets they’ve seen are the budgets we receive
  • Health care issues
  • School choice (crossing county lines), charter schools (millage/language), and creating an institute to study charter schools at Florida State University
  • Class Size bill has not changed the obligation of class size, only changes the calculation penalty – out of compliance for schoolwide average.
  • Testing relief on end-of-course exams, which Governor has already signed; Technology and the money needed is an issue – digital classroom dollars have not been added; expecting a technical assistance paper on assessment and accountability (testing/teacher evaluations) in the next few weeks.
  • Supportive delegation (Education Committee)
  • Special session in June primarily on health care and budget

Board members and staff thanked Dr. Hamilton and Ms. Milito for their work in Tallahassee on the district’s behalf. Dr. Hamilton and Ms. Milito thanked the Board and Superintendent for working together (as a team) with them. Any questions – contact Dr. Hamilton or Ms. Milito.

Gretchen Saunders provided a Power Point presentation on the budget – discussion included:

  • FY2014-2015 Funding Comparison – First thru Fourth calculations & growth (Fifth & final calculations not received until October/November)
  • State & Local Funding Review (Comparison of 2002-2003 thru 2014-2015) – dollars received in state and local funding, student generated revenue (base student allocation), categoricals, and allocation of fund sources.
  • Preliminary Financial Data and Information FY 2015-2016, which included "fund” highlights for Special Revenue, Capital Outlay, Debit Service, and Internal Service; budget process (January thru October), and General Fund expenditures
  • Budget Planning Calendar (start to finish) – October/November 2014 school startup thru October/November 2016 for fifth and final calculation
  • The next budget workshop is scheduled for May 12, 2015.

There was general discussion by board members and staff to include:

  • The information on State & Local Funding Review (comparison of years 2002-2003 thru 2014-2015) is good history for board members to have when out in the community.
  • Growing budget with growing student population is always a challenge every year
  • Goal is to parallel strategic plan with budget plan – identify board’s priorities – put together side-by-side initiatives of board/district. Provide board more detailed information on where dollars are going at the June workshop.
  • With EET (Empowering Effective Teachers) and the budget, what elements are we going to keep, tweak, and how are we going to fund – specific conversation needed on this, as we have many elements that other districts do not have.
  • It is no longer called EET; however, it’s definitely a part of our budget and tied to teacher evaluation.
  • Concern for food served to students, but not consumed (wasteful). Due to federal guidelines, food cannot be packed and sent home with students – must be consumed on site or thrown away.
  • Graduation rate results 2013-2014 – 26.5 percent of students did not receive diplomas - create long-range plan, as well as doing something now for students (who may not receive a diploma) to earn a standard diploma.
  • What is return of investment on all of our costs for students to be successful (analysis)?
  • Focus on why we are losing children in the middle school years to charter schools. Difficult transition from elementary to middle school. Consider extending elementary school through six grade; converting more schools to a K-8 format (continuity); consider a task force to evaluate the problems with sixth through eighth grade. More discussion on exploratory wheel (6th-7th grade) – frameworks to explore strengths, talents; what can we do to improve middle school experience – feeling supported, and meeting early needs of students – can’t lose sight of whole child all the way through.
  • Middle school staff has asked principals to gather information; a student forum with middle school students will be held May 15.

Chair Valdes distributed book – You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader – to board members.

With no further discussion, the workshop adjourned at 11:07 a.m. Continuation (Part II) of this workshop will begin at 1 p.m. this afternoon (April 28). (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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