Save Hillsborough County Public School District Teachers

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Save our teachers.

Florida is at the bottom of the nation for public education funding.  Hillsborough County school district is the 7th largest in the United States.  To save costs due to the gap between funding and high needs, our district is attempting to increase class sizes to the largest possible teacher-student ratio in the midst of a pandemic when ratios need to be smaller for safe distancing.  When students return from distance learning, those teacher units may not be replaced leading to overcrowding in classrooms.  Most likely, these personnel cuts will result in reduction in the arts, STEAM, special classes, ESE resources, advanced placement/IB classes, and wrap around services like counselors, nurses, and resource teachers.  Meanwhile, Hillsborough County Public School district has recently invested in high cost online curricula and learning platforms.  They have paid record salaries for administrative leaders and consultants who do not work directly in schools. 

Teachers are the backbone and lifeline of our childrens’ education.  Our district serves children with unique needs who benefit greatly from special classes and variety of resources.  With increasing awareness of educational disparity within our poor and vulnerable communities, we should be enriching and adding teacher units within schools that are under-resourced compared to their community needs, not cutting personnel.  We should be increasing mental health professionals and counselors in schools to meet the rising rate of mental health concerns in our youth.  We should be ensuring a well-rounded education for the arts and sciences at all levels of academic achievement. 

I am signing this petition to demand that teachers and resource personnel within Hillsborough County not be reduced at this time.  Instead, district leaders must stand up to protect the public education system they were elected and hired to support.   Our district leaders need to demand better funding from the State of Florida to meet our district needs for teachers, wrap around services, busing, facility maintenance, sanitation supplies and mental health professionals in the school.  Department of Education needs to stop threatening loss of funds during a pandemic.  An investment of in our children is an investment in our future communities.  Save our teachers, save our students, save our public education.