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Hillsborough Schools To Host Town Meeting Wednesday

Mar 21, 2018

Residents of Hillsborough County can get an update on public school issues at a special town hall meeting on Wednesday.

School board member April Griffin says she initially planned the gathering to update the community on the district's financial woes.

"And then Parkland happened,” she said. “I wanted to educate the public on what we've already done in Hillsborough County for our students and for our staff's safety."

Griffin says some security measures have been in place since the Sandy Hook school shootings, and after a young girl with special needs drowned in a retention pond on school grounds in Riverview. Both incidents took place in 2012.

In addition to school board members, officials from the district's security and budget offices will be on hand to answer questions.

The nation's eighth-largest school district is in a budget hole and that has meant job cuts and a freeze on teacher salaries. Contract negotiations between the school district and the teachers union is currently at an impasse.

School board member April Griffin says the county's rapid growth means the district will need to borrow money to build more schools.

"And we're going to have to bond those schools,” she said. “If we lose our rating that we currently have, it will cost the taxpayers of this community tens of millions of dollars in interest payments alone."

The town hall takes place Wednesday night at 6:30 at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace.