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Image for Long-Time Educator and Community Advocate Betty Castor  Named as Chair of the Citizen Oversight Committee for Education Referendum Projects

Long-Time Educator and Community Advocate Betty Castor Named as Chair of the Citizen Oversight Committee for Education Referendum Projects

September 17, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

EDITORS NOTE: Betty Castor and Superintendent Jeff Eakins will be available for interviews this morning from 10-10:30 a.m. at Jefferson High School, 4401 W Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607

Tampa, Fla. – (September 17, 2018) – Long-time educator Betty Castor will head the Citizen Oversight Committee for Hillsborough County Public Schools, overseeing responsible spending on school improvement projects funded by a half-penny sales tax if voters approve the education referendum on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

Castor is excited to serve as the chair of this committee and make a difference for the more than 218,000 students in Hillsborough County Public Schools.

“This is an important opportunity to help Hillsborough County Public Schools begin the rebuilding of its infrastructure and address essential areas like air conditioning, technology for career and technical programs, and enhancing safety on campuses. As someone who has worked with Hillsborough County Public Schools from my time as a county commissioner, to the Legislature and as president of USF, I know the importance of the children in our community and making sure every penny of these referendum funds will be spent to benefit students.”

Betty Castor has spent her entire career in public service and as a champion for all children. From her start as a teacher in South Florida, Castor rose to serve as the president of the University of South Florida in Tampa and was twice elected Commissioner of Education for the State of Florida. Castor was the first woman elected to the Hillsborough County Commission and the Florida Cabinet. She was also a three-term Florida State Senator, where she co-sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment and championed bills to fund early childhood education.

The Citizen Oversight Committee will be made up of six private citizens and one district leader who will review the spending, progress and completion of all projects funded by the referendum. The six citizens cannot be affiliated with the district and cannot work on projects funded by the referendum. Betty Castor will now lead the selection of the other five citizen members of the committee. Nominations from the public are welcome, online at or in person at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

“I want to sincerely thank Betty for taking this leadership role to help assure the public that the money raised by this referendum will go right to the schools that need it,” Superintendent Jeff Eakins said. “This week, we will be releasing the school-by-school list of projects. Betty and the Citizen Oversight Committee will give the public confidence that the important work on that list will be completed properly, and our students, teachers and staff will benefit.”


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