Hillsborough County School Board: Take Responsibility for the Loss of Recognition Funds

Hillsborough County School Board: Take Responsibility for the Loss of Recognition Funds

518 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!

Why this petition matters

During the 2019-2020 school year, Hillsborough County Public School District received over $9 million from the Florida School Recognition Program to use exclusively at the discretion of each school's staff and advisory council. These funds contribute to staff and faculty bonuses and equipment.

Unfortunately, our schools will not be eligible for these funds in the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. The school board mandated masks without parental opt-out in August 2021, violating the Florida Department of Health’s Emergency Rule. This has financial consequences for each school in the district. The board members were made aware of these significant financial consequences by their legal counsel and the Florida Department of Education, but chose to violate the rule anyway.

In summary:

  • Staff, faculty, and administration did not do anything wrong!
  • The Hillsborough County School Board knowingly violated the Department of Health Emergency Rule
  • All Hillsborough County schools are ineligible for School Recognition Funds in 2022-2023
  • 55 Florida school districts, NOT including Hillsborough County, will share $200 million to recognize the efforts of their team with bonuses, school equipment, and materials

We would like you to help us encourage responsibility so that we can work to reclaim staff, faculty, and students’ share of School Recognition Funds. 

Please, sign this petition asking the Hillsborough County School Board to take responsibility for the loss of eligibility for the Florida School Recognition Program. Upon issuing their formal, public proclamation of responsibility and accountability to the entire Hillsborough County School District community, we will partner with community leaders to petition the Governor's office to reverse our ineligibility for School Recognition Funds.


Thank you for becoming a crucial part of ensuring the Hillsborough County School Board abides by its bylaws and oath of office and takes responsibility for the loss of eligibility for the Florida School Recognition funds. Please continue to share, sign, and promote this petition. We have progressed to a secondary phase of activities.

The Hillsborough County School Board has ignored our offer to collaborate. 

What has happened so far:

  • An article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times on March 19, 2022, asking the board to Make it Right. They called it ‘fake news’ at the school board meeting on March 22, 2022.
  • The opportunity to partner was presented at a school board workshop on April 12, 2022. It was called ‘political‘ and ‘not a necessary’ topic to discuss by Board Chair Nadia Combs.
  • The board members and superintendent received official notification of our proposal to collaborate and partner to reclaim School Recognition Funds on April 13, 2022. They ignored the opportunity.
  • The refusal to partner with parents was presented during the three-minute public input time at the school board meeting on April 19, 2022. The speaker was interrupted and told they were violating a civility policy for quoting a Board member and asking why the topic of teacher funding is ‘political.’ There is no mention of quoting a Board member in their policy. https://web.hillsboroughschools.org/policymanual/detail/54

The school board has been offered every opportunity to partner with the parents. At this point, they have not only violated the emergency rule requiring a mask mandate opt-out, but they further demonstrate their disregard for their bylaws, confirming a systemic lack of accountability. 

On behalf of teachers, staff, and students, we are standing up where the school board will not. We are working diligently with community leaders to ensure the most critical accountability measures while not impacting teacher and staff bonuses.

Please continue to share, sign, and promote this petition so we can demonstrate our community’s dedication to those that educate our children while also holding elected officials to the highest of standards.




518 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!