Invest in Teachers, Students &
the Future of our Community by Voting YES
Dear Friend of Education,
I am asking you to join HEF in support of our schools by voting “Yes” on the school millage referendum on the August 23rd ballot, because our children deserve strong public schools, and they deserve qualified teachers and staff who support them. If passed, the 4-year millage is projected to increase funding for the district around $146 million annually, of which, every dollar would remain right here in our community and in our public schools.
Inadequate state funding, combined with the effects of a critical national teacher and support staff shortage, are impacting our district. Teachers are moving to higher-paying surrounding counties where voters have passed similar referendums, or they are changing careers completely for better pay in the private sector.
With increased teacher vacancies, around 8,000 students in Hillsborough County did not have a qualified teacher in their classrooms last year. We know that effective teachers are foundational to student success. The school district needs the funding to attract and retain diverse, quality teachers who are well supported and compensated.
Here’s what your tax dollars would support through the referendum:
- At least 75% of the one mil would be used to increase salaries for teachers and staff.
- It would also protect and expand art, music, physical education and workforce development programs.
We understand any added tax can be a heavy lift for families, including the nearly 24,000 staff in the district. The same price increases that you’re facing, our teachers and schools are facing, and inflation has significantly outpaced the increases in education funding over the last 15 years. HEF believes this investment in our students, teachers and public schools is critical and cannot wait.
Tampa Bay is one of the greatest places to live. Local leaders have worked hard to attract new companies to the area and the quality of public education is a major factor when deciding to relocate, resulting in the creation of more high-quality jobs. Our community’s economic growth is directly related to the skills of our workforce, and obtaining those skills is heavily dependent on our schools. We must invest in our public schools now to have the best community possible.
For most, you will find the school referendum as the last item on your ballot. I am asking that you join us by voting “Yes” to get this important issue passed, then share with others why you support it. Our teachers deserve your support and students need it.