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It took the loss of two young lives to come up with the proposed changes.....

TAMPA (FOX 13) -
It took the loss of two young lives to come up with the changes. Eleven-year old Jenny Cabellero, a girl with Down Syndrome, drowned in a pond at Rodgers Middle School in October.

And Isabella Herrera, a 7-year-old with a neuromuscular disorder, died after going into respiratory distress on a Hillsborough County school bus.

Protesters : Hillsborough Schools Neglect Students Needs....

TAMPA - On Thursday, about 20 to 30 protesters held signs outside the Childrens' Board of Hillsborough County, protesting the treatment of special needs students by Hillsborough County Public Schools. Some were parents of special needs students, others were activists for the disabled, but all say the district has neglected the needs of these students for too long.

Parents fired up at school board meeting over district's handling of recent student deaths..

TAMPA - Some parents got fired up Tuesday night at a school board meeting in Hillsborough County over the handling of recent incidents that lead to the deaths of two students with special needs.

Death of special needs student brings lawsuit against Hillsborough Schools.....

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY -- A Bay area family has filed a federal lawsuit against the Hillsborough County School District in the death of their 7-year-old special needs daughter.

Isabella Herrera died in January of 2012 at a Bay area hospital. Her death came a day after she was found choking and unconscious aboard a Hillsborough County school bus.

According to the lawsuit, the bus driver and bus aide failed to give Herrera the help she needed before and after she started choking on the school bus.

Herrera's lawyer showed video taken from the bus ride in January.

Dozens of Hillsborough Public Schools Receive "D" Grades.......

TAMPA — Dozens of elementary and middle schools in Hillsborough County got D's on Wednesday under the state's tougher grading system.

Hillsborough public schools fall behind state average in Reading, Math and Science........

"We're not where we need to be, but this is sort of a weird transition year," said Stephen Hegarty, spokesman for Hillsborough County Schools.

Brink Foundation commits $25,000 to aid students impacted by UTA scholarship crisis.....

Jose Colindres, chief operating officer of the nonprofit Brink Foundation, said his organization will contribute $25,000 to the scholarship effort. He invited students affected to contact his organization. And he criticized Elia for her statements about HCC and USF. "Honestly, the board and the superintendent do not have a lot of credibility with the community when it comes to this particular topic," he said.

Teaching program promised scholarships, but funding efforts are under scrutiny....

TAMPA — Mekka Mason and her parents were thrilled when they learned a Hillsborough County magnet program would help pay for Mekka, the youngest of six children, to go to college and become a teacher.

Launched four years ago, the Urban Teaching Academy promised scholarships and the cost of books to students who completed the program successfully. In return, they agreed to come back to Hillsborough and teach for three years in urban schools.

HILLSBOROUGH SCHOOLS TO LIMIT OUTSIDE SPEAKERS

TAMPA — In a move that responds to complaints about an Islamic organization, the Hillsborough County School District took a first step Tuesday toward regulating outside speakers in the classroom.

A brief set of guidelines offered by superintendent MaryEllen Elia asks teachers to look for speakers recommended by the district, consult with their principals and refrain from invitations to advocacy organizations.

Some Hillsborough students pass mid-term exams with fewer than half the correct answers

TAMPA — Should your kid get a C on his Algebra 2 Honors midterm exam with more than half the answers wrong?

Sure, says the Hillsborough County School District.

That's ridiculous, says a math teacher at Wharton High School.

"We all are doing these kids a gross disservice," said Maxine Stark, a veteran teacher who's convinced that some of the grades on the report cards issued Friday were too generous.

Events
Hillsborough County School Board Meeting- 11/14@ 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.