The Hillsborough County School Board is drawing up its legislative "wish list" for 2021.

What You Need To Know

  • The district wants Florida to suspend the grading of schools and districts during the pandemic

  • Will ask the state to fun a "summer bridge" program

  • Will ask for more COVID relief from the federal government

  • Pushing for priority access to vaccine

Superintendent Addison Davis presented the school board with an eight-page list of recommendations for the city, county, state and federal level.

At a workshop on Tuesday, board members pared the list down to several key "asking" points.

"Most of everything we covered are things we feel will make our schools more competitive, more rich in instruction and more a viable school system" school board chairperson Lynn Gray said.

Board members said they are particularly concerned with helping students who are falling behind.

On the state level, the district wants to pursue funding for the summer bridge program to help close learning gaps.

They are also talking about hiring interventionists for the lowest-performing schools to help develop academic intervention plans for reading and math.

"We'd also like the state to look at suspending school grades and district grades during the pandemic. No one cares about school grades right now, so that's a priority," said Addison Davis, Hillsborough Schools Superintendent.

Federally, Hillsborough County Schools plan to seek additional COVID-19 relief funding. Administrators said the money would be used to pay for mental health screenings, PPE and to extend the free lunch program.

The district is also pushing to get priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The biggest thing is trying to get the vaccine for our teachers and our students. They're on the front lines," Davis said.

School board members said they will also champion a new teacher compensation bill aimed at boosting the salaries of veteran teachers.