Plan your supply purchases in the Hillsborough County schools
Need to buy copy paper? Crayons? Folders?
If you work for the Hillsborough County schools, you'll need clearance.
Principals have been asked in recent weeks to consult with their staff and plan all their supply purchases through the end of the school year.
This isn't a sign of any kind of economic crisis, said district spokeswoman Tanya Arja.
Rather, she said, it's a step district leaders want to take to encourage planning and avoid having schools over-order supplies they don't need. As the eight area superintendents are collecting the lists, they can encourage schools to share their surplus supplies with nearby schools that are running short.
"Read the document carefully, review your actuals, and frugally project out needed expenses," Chief of Staff Alberto Vazquez wrote in memo that came with a spreadsheet. "All remaining dollars not needed will be retrieved once your completed sheet is submitted and reviewed."
Arja said the exercise is also better than what happened toward the end of the last school year, when the district "swept" school accounts earlier than usual and caught some teachers and department heads by surprise.
This way, she said, there should be no surprises.
Superintendent Jeff Eakins was upbeat this week in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times about his ongoing work to tame the budget. A new system is in place to allocate extra staff to the schools -- reading coaches, writing specialists, etc. -- based on a complex formula that considers everything from poverty and student test scores to teacher turnover.
A third Gibson report is expected soon, focused on educational programs. The coming year will be one in which the administration reviews those programs carefully, to see what is working and what could be tweaked.