Teachers across the state are trying to find a job that will work with students in perfecting their hidden skills. Professionals who taught classroom jobs sometimes end up with a full-time job at a school that pertains to their certifications and merits. Lauren Piper is one example of a floating teacher who helped with students who had writing problems and became a writing resource teacher, only to be sent back to the classroom and teach.

Cost of freedom

Lauren is like the 150 professionals who were cut from the educational board payroll due to budget cuts.

It was all due to hiring people who didn't have the experience and credibility to back up their claims. Then a hiring freeze happened in October of last year because the Hillsborough County school board hired too many people. Now those who were full-time teachers before December are being moved to become substitute teachers or sent to other districts where there are less educators for the students and those who were hired after being a substitute are being sent to the schools that those previous teachers have been working. The county calls this move "redeployment."

So far only a small handful of teachers do not have an assignment this year. But there have been cuts in busses and planned schedule hours for janitors who work at high schools.

All of these were recommendations from a group called Gibsonton Consulting, which saw that Hillsborough county hired over 1,000 people too many last year, and suggested that cutting some of the jobs could save the district $66 million a year with pay and benefits instead of teachers covering their medical and retirement on their own.

So far everything is still in talks but the cuts took effect November of last year starting with the bus transportation for students. Any child living within two miles of the school is recommended to walk there and back whereas outside of two miles, students are expected to ride the bus.

Budget teaching

The list of cuts and teachers being "redeployed" within the county were released.

24 of those educators affected are those who work with the graduation initiative that was launched in 2014 to help students overcome obstacles to their graduation and future success. Jeff Eakins says he will not cut from the graduation initiative because of its success but he will cut jobs from ESOL, or English classes for students who speak Spanish or another foreign language. But the benefits outweigh the costs for students who will have a different teacher near the end of the year or next year who may have more experience and could be a better help for students who are lagging behind.

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