Your taxpayer dollars are hard at work creating the best learning environment for students. It is all possible because the community recognized the need and stood behind Hillsborough County Public Schools back in 2018 when it overwhelmingly passed the Education Referendum.

It is important for our community to know exactly how each penny is spent as we continually act as responsible financial stewards. I am proud to announce that to date, the school district has invested more than a half a billion referendum dollars into school-based improvement projects.

We have completed 600 projects so far, thanks to the half-penny sales tax. Hillsborough County Public Schools has received more than $631 million dollars from the referendum and invested more than $558 million to date. We’re also happy to highlight that more than 46 percent of the funds have been invested in minority, women-owned or small business enterprises.

Through the guidance of our Citizen Oversight Committee, our leaders are prioritizing projects. One of the many schools reaping the benefits of these projects is Frost Elementary School. We’ve spent nearly $1.5 million to update the air conditioning and heating systems and replace ceilings, fire alarm systems, floors, paint and clocks at the school.

At this time, architects are in the design phase for schools receiving HVAC overhauls, including Brandon High, Burns Middle, East Bay High, FishHawk Creek Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Sessums Elementary and Shields Middle.

The 2023 summer projects total approximately $47.5 million in repairs, renovations and other improvements funded by the half-penny sales tax. Coming into Hillsborough County as your superintendent three years ago, one of the things I had the luxury of inheriting was a community that truly cared about education and understood the billions of dollars of deferred maintenance that had to be addressed within our facilities.

The community stepped up for our children to approve this referendum in 2018, and we are proud the community realizes the importance of these crucial projects and places their trust in our district as we continue to invest these funds in our schools.

As we continue to accelerate Hillsborough County academically, we will continue to create a welcoming environment for our children to thrive every single day.

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