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Education

Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Apologizes For Teacher Job Cuts

Hillsborough Superintendent Addison Davis gestures with his hand while speaking at a school board meeting
SCREENSHOT: Hillsborough County Schools
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Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis said the cash crisis in the district predates his arrival 13 months ago.

Addison Davis said the moves have been hard but necessary to avoid a district takeover by state education leaders.

Teachers, aides, and assistant principals are among those who learned in recent days that their jobs are being eliminated, as Hillsborough County faces down a $100 million budget deficit that district leaders say has plagued the school district for years.

Dozens of teachers and parents spoke out against the cuts Tuesday night at a school board meeting.

Speakers included music and chorus teachers who are losing their jobs, a father who lamented the elimination of a Chinese language program at his daughter’s school, and a teacher who said she was notified of her job loss by text message after a 16-year career.

Superintendent Addison Davis expressed regret, but noted that the district's cash crisis has existed for years.

"I apologize to each of you because nobody on this front row created this problem,” Davis said at the school board meeting.

“Addison Davis didn't create this financial problem. But I am here trying to find solutions through this process."

He said the cuts are necessary to make payroll this summer, and to avoid a district takeover by Tallahassee, a move that he warned would lead to broader cuts.

A petition calling on Davis to resign had garnered more than 500 signatures as of Tuesday evening.

He's been superintendent of the nation's eighth largest school district for just over a year.

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