Hillsborough school leaders promise to keep electives

Part of the problem in the district is a major deficit in part due to less state funding and more than 7,300 students unaccounted for during the pandemic.

TAMPA, Fla. — As students in Hillsborough County Schools held a melodic demonstration outside of the district’s headquarters in downtown Tampa, a fierce fight to save the arts continued inside.

RELATED: Salary talks for Hillsborough’s most experienced teachers don’t look promising, leaders say

“By cutting chorus and other art programs around the county, you are not just affecting one group of students, you are affecting a family, a community and future students from finding a place where they belong,” student Kyla Atchison said.

As the district faces a multi-million dollar budget deficit, parents, students and teachers fear the worst.

“If you cared about the teacher and the students, and by now it’s obvious to anybody you don’t, the first thing on the

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Hillsborough drops school reopening plan under state pressure

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school officials were up against a deadline.

State officials had instructed them to revise their reopening plan, or lose millions in funding. The School Board’s vote to start the year with four weeks of virtual lessons to lessen the chance of coronavirus infections didn’t meet state expectations. Plus thousands of teachers and more than 200,000 students were in limbo.

So on Thursday, superintendent Addison Davis announced a new timetable: The school year will begin Aug. 24 with all-virtual instruction. Then, for those who choose it, in-person school will begin a week later.

“Everyone has been frustrated, let’s just be very clear,” Davis said at a news conference after explaining some of the mechanics of the new arrangement. But, he added, “we’re here for children and we’re also here to protect the working conditions of adults.”

The decision ends weeks of uncertainty, as some in the community

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