One year on the job, Hillsborough County Public School Superintendent Addison Davis says the district’s financial difficulties are forcing him to make major cuts.

What You Need To Know

  • Nearly 1,000 school positions being eliminated in Hillsborough

  • Some impacted employees may transfer to other positions in the district

  • District administrative positions also being cut

“It’s unfortunate that we have to make some very hard decisions,” Davis told Spectrum Bay News 9 on Tuesday.

Nearly 1,000 school-based positions are being eliminated.

County high schools will take the hardest hit.

Davis said some teachers and staff have already been notified, and more will learn this week they are losing their jobs.

But many of the affected employees may be able to transfer to other positions that open through retirement and attrition, according to Davis.

“We usually hire between 1100-1200 positions annually, meaning we may be able to keep the majority of the people within our school district,” Davis explained. “We just won’t have new hires transition to Hillsborough County unless it’s hard-to-fill positions.”

It’s not clear yet which departments will lose the most staff.

“We will never remove a program,” Davis said. “We will always have art, music and PE in every one of our elementary schools.”

Davis said middle and high school cuts will be based on student interest and enrollment.

“That’s all based on course requirements and needs by our students and what our students aspire to take,” Davis said. “So, we have to make sure we protect programs that our students are most interested in.”

Davis worked with principals to find areas where there may be overstaffing. That’s expected to save the district about $80 million.

Davis said this should be the last round of school-based cuts, and positions will also be eliminated at the district’s administrative offices.

“I understand it’s difficult,” Davis said. “And as a superintendent coming in, one of the last things we want to do is cut positions at our schools, but unfortunately our backs against the wall.”

The superintendent said there is separate funding available to provide resources to underperforming schools. There’s also federal funding to help with any achievement gap that e-learners face district-wide.

But that money won’t be used for recurring costs like teachers’ salaries.