Hillsborough County School Board votes to let voters decide on a tax increase for education

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The Hillsborough County School Board has approved putting the question before voters about a tax increase aimed at strengthening education funding.

Homeowners would face a tax increase tied to property value.

During the intense conversation, discussions revolved around allocating funds to enhance teacher salaries, address staff shortages, and improve academic programs. Board member Shake Washington from District 5 passionately shared personal experiences of financial hardship, emphasizing the importance of supporting educators.

“It was hard as hell for us. And we had kids, and we were educated in the school system, had a degree, had a master’s, and we had to work all these jobs in order to subsidize our income. Teachers are the backbone of this educational system. … I will not sit on this and not support my employees. All we want to do is give them a chance to be on the ballot. Let the voters determine.”

Before the final vote, School Board Member Patti Rendon from District 4 proposed an amendment that was supported by the Board.

“If this referendum does pass, that the superintendent will create a citizen oversight committee prior to July 1 of 2025.”

The Board supported putting the tax question on the ballot by a vote of 5-2.

The School Board members who voted against putting the question on the ballot were Patti Rendon and Stacy Hahn. The members in favor were Nadia Combs, Jessica Vaughn, Shake Washington, Lynn Gray and chair Karen Perez.

Voters will decide at the polls in November.

 

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