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Justice Department will investigate Tampa police

Tampa, Florida -- The Department of Justice is launching a probe into traffic citations issued by Tampa police.

Chief Jane Castor and the city requested the DOJ to get involved after a Tampa Bay Times investigation revealed that 79 percent of people cited for bicycle violations were black.

Jeff Eakins is next Hillsborough superintendent

Tampa - After a tense night that had Hillsborough County School Board members trading jabs, the district will likely have a new superintendent.

The School Board voted 4-3 on Tuesday to offer the full time superintendent job to current Deputy Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

The divided board had a heated discussion that lasted hours. Members debated whether to hire a national search firm to find a candidate.

Hillsborough School Board votes to dump Superintendent MaryEllen Elia's contract

Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent was released Tuesday by the school board in a move that terminates her contract and will result in a buyout of about $1.1 million by a vote count of 4-3.

Lawsuit: Child died because Tampa school waited to call 911

TAMPA — A 6-year-old child died at Seminole Heights Elementary School after he stopped breathing and school staff waited too long to call 911, according to a lawsuit expected to be filed Friday in federal court in Tampa.

The Maher Law Firm, which also represented the family of Isabella Herrera, the Hillsborough child who died following a ride home in 2012 on a school bus, is representing the family of Keith Coty, who died Jan. 17, 2014.

Panel on racial disparities in Hillsborough schools tries to get back on track

TAMPA — Starting from square one, a task force on African-American students in Hillsborough County tried Monday to get to the heart of continuing disparities in learning and discipline.

Elia’s leadership style again called into question

By Joe Henderson | Tribune Staff

Published: August 20, 2014

When the Hillsborough County School Board voted 4-2 last week to extend Superintendent MaryEllen Elia’s contract by one year, let’s just say there were bigger stories that day in our city.

Even given her often-fractious relationship with some board members, bringing Elia back for a 10th year on the job was never in question. She has a rolling three-year contract that automatically extends a year if she scores high enough on the combined evaluation of the seven board members. The board’s actual vote is largely for show.

Feds will investigate allegations that Hillsborough district shortchanges black students...

TAMPA — The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has asked the Hillsborough County school district 42 questions based on an allegation that it is shortchanging minority students.

School bus drivers concerned about safety

Apollo Beach, Florida -- Angry words were greeted by applause Monday night as almost 100 school bus drivers and maintenance workers met in Apollo Beach to talk about antiquated buses, student safety, and a lack of respect.

Hills. school bus drivers: We aren't trained to transport medically fragile students

Tampa, Fl - As the Hillsborough County School Board continues to finalize a settlement after a special-needs student's death, concern remains over the school bus system and safety issues.

Some bus drivers said caring for special needs students can be a huge responsibility for very little pay. Drivers said they are not properly trained to take care of medically challenged students and they fear if something happens to one of those students on a bus, they will be held responsible.

Bus drivers tell Hillsborough County School Board top-down change is needed.....

Tampa, Fl - One after another, Hillsborough County school bus drivers lined up to address the school board.

"This is the eighth largest district in this country and we look like fools," Sheila Mingo said.

"There definitely has to be some changes here folks. We're losing drivers," Kelmie Bigelow said.

Events
Hillsborough County School Board Meeting- 10/04 @ 3 PM

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Raymond O. Shelton School Administration Center
901 East Kennedy Blvd
Tampa, Fl 33602

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In the Tampa Bay area public school districts are entrusted with multi billion dollar budgets that directly impact over 500,000 students, 50,000 employees and thousands of vendors and service providers.

Elected school boards in each of the counties are tasked with overseeing these dollars and providing oversight.

Ultimately, however,it falls upon the citizenry to monitor the conduct and expenditures of public dollars and the quality of education being provided to children.

Reports of many children struggling to attain a quality public education have been featured prominently in the local media and underscores the need for parents, family members and all stakeholders to actively participate in the educational process.

Please consider attending an upcoming school board meeting to add your voice to the call for a high quality public education for all children.