With fears of a potential $23 million budget cut looming, Pasco County School Superintendent Kurt Browning announced a freeze on hiring Monday.
"It doesn't mean we're not hiring," Browning told the Tampa Bay Times. "Now we're doing everything individually."
Requests to fill open positions will be handled on a case-by-case basis with hires critical to daily operations getting the most attention.
The move was prompted by the district’s estimation it might face another $23 million shortfall in the 2013-14 school year. The district has faced multiple years of budget cuts. In 2011, it dealt with an estimated $54.4 million funding shortfall and had to cut nearly 500 positions from its payroll.
By freezing new hires, the Times’ report says, the district hopes to prevent the need to layoff newly hired staff members if the budget shortfall comes to fruition and positions have to be shed to close the gap.
In nearby Hillsborough County, school board members heard a different story during their Tuesday, Feb. 5 meeting.
Superintendent MaryEllen Elia told board members the district had open positions and had activated its online registration system.
“Hiring good teachers is a year round job,” Elia said. “We’re working very hard to have information available on our website so they (candidates) know what the process is.”
The Hillsborough district plays host to a new teacher week annually and tries to have most of its new hires in place by then, she said. It also plays host to an annual job fair in June where multiple applicants can interview for open positions. According to the district's website, there are 150 instructional positions open at this time.
Elia also asked board members and attendees to let recent college grads know the district was hiring so they could get in on the process early.
For more information on open positions in Hillsborough, visit the district’s website.
Are there open positions at your child’s school in New Port Richey? Does this concern you? Share your thoughts in the comments section.