HCTA Supports Extension of the Half-cent for Hernando Schools

With the half-penny for Hernando Schools due to expire in 2025, the District and School Board members are leading efforts for an early renewal this election cycle.

The county has already approved the construction of 11,000 new homes, and with many more in the planning stages, it simply doesn’t pay to delay the renewal. Rising construction costs, creeping interest rates, and lower impact fees all mean that revenue is not keeping up with the cost of growth. Securing the half-cent renewal early, means the District will have the flexibility to receive bonds at lower interest and can build schools or additions if and when needed.

It is worth noting that the early renewal does not constitute additional taxes nor does it seek to INCREASE funds available to the District. It simply ensures that current local funding for school repairs and construction is not reduced. The extension is a timely and much-needed investment in the continuing growth of our public schools.

On May 17th, the HCTA Representative Council voted to support the District’s efforts to seek early renewal for the half-cent for schools.

HCTA Announces the Endorsement of Candidates for Hernando School Board

HCTA's Local Elections Endorsement Committee has been working through the screening process to provide recommendations in our three school board races.

The entire process began in March with the Local Elections member survey. HCTA members were asked to provide their opinions on the qualities, qualifications and experience they would look for in a candidate school board. They were also asked to help identify the priority issues impacting students and teachers, and they were invited to submit questions that they would want candidates to answer. From this survey, the committee developed the candidate pre-screening questionnaire and interview questions.

Every candidate listed active on the Hernando Supervisor of Elections website was invited to participate in the endorsement screenings. Six of the nine chose to participate.

On Saturday, May 14th, the committee conducted candidate interviews at the HCTA office. Each member of the committee individually scored the candidates' responses using the member survey results to assess how closely the candidates' responses aligned with the priorities and values of our members. The individual scores from the interview were combined with scores from the pre-screening questionnaire and the composite scores were used to identify the candidates presented to the Representative Council for endorsement by our organization.

 

On May 17th, the HCTA Representative Council voted unanimously to endorse school board candidates for Districts 1, 3 and 5. HCTA members will receive communications in the days ahead. Members are strongly encouraged to learn about the candidates who have been recommended by the HCTA endorsement committee.

 

 

HCTA's 2022 Local Candidate Screening Process Is Underway

BROOKSVILLE, FL -- April 15, 2022

While it is certainly true that ALL elections have consequences, perhaps no election is of greater consequence for our neighborhood public schools than the election of members to our local school board. More than just a governing body, the school board is entrusted with our collective vision of vibrant public schools that help EVERY child who walks through the doors achieve thier highest potential. The individuals we choose to serve the community as school board members are uniquely positioned to set policies and direct the work of district leaders in delivering that vision. And this year, Hernando County School Board Districts 1, 3 and 5 are all on the ballot. 

As is customary and appropriate, Hernando Classroom Teachers' Association will be actively engaged in this year's local elections. Invitations have been emailed to all candidates vying for seats on the Hernando County School Board. Candidates are asked to submit a completed endorsement screening questionnaire by April 25th. Interviews will be held on May 14th at the HCTA office. 

School Board candidate screening timelines:

  • 4/15/22 – Invitations and candidate questionnaires forwarded to all candidates
  • 4/25/22 – RSVP & completed questionnaires returned to committee
  • 5/14/22 – Candidate interviews
  • 5/24/22 – Recommendations announced

Candidates for the Hernando County School Board who have not received an email invitation to participate in the HCTA endorsement screenings are encouraged to contact HCTA as soon as possible.

Meet the 2022 Local Elections Endorsement Committee:

The members of HCTA’s Local Elections Endorsement Committee provide a balanced representation of our HCTA membership.

  • All levels and multiple disciplines, including CTE
  • Experience ranging from 6 to 30 years, and a cumulative total of 138 years in teaching
  • Ages ranging from 29 to 65
  • Most with children attending or having graduated from HCSD
  • All residents of Hernando County
  • All actively engaged in community and/or union leadership
  • Balanced representation of party affiliations (R, D, I and NPA)

Through an open and non-partisan process, this committee endeavors to identify candidates for local offices who most align with the values and priorities of our membership. All candidates for the offices being reviewed will be invited to participate in the screening process to be considered for endorsement. To ensure recommendations of the committee best reflect the interests of members, participating candidates will be vetted using tools created from input provided through recent survey of HCTA members.

Tell Tallahassee: ADDRESS THE TEACHER SHORTAGE!

BROOKSVILLE, March 3, 2022--

As the final week of the 2022 FL Legislative Session begins, educators, parents and students across the state are still waiting for Tallahassee legislators to provide real solutions to the most significant challenge our public schools are facing today: the growing educator shortage!

2021 Tentative Agreements Reached

HCTA and HCSD bargaining teams have reached several significant agreements for 2021 wages, hours and working conditions. As these memoranda will provide significant financial improvement for instructional staff, the ratification process will be expedited with worksite voting to be held on November 10th and November 12th. All instructional staff in Hernando County Schools are invited to register for the Virtual Ratificatoin Update which will be held on November 9th at 6:30 pm. 

 

HCTA Bargaining Update - 8/25/21

Wednesday evening, HCTA and HUSW bargaining teams met with the District to begin active discussion around the millage funds. While we had certainly hoped that the bargain around a win like the successful passage of the local referendum would be an opportunity for a truly collaborative conversation, the parties failed to reach agreement on the first step of the bargain—determining the distribution of the funds into each employee constituency (HCTA, HUSW, Confidential, Professional Technical, and Admin).

HCTA cited district-created promotional material, including direct quotes from the Superintendent and School Board members, to advocate that the ‘bulk of funds’ available for salaries should go to teachers. HCTA suggested, for a second time, that referendum dollars be divided among the units in the same percentage as the general payroll. Essentially, this would honor the repeated messaging of the district’s intent to use the referendum to ‘Keep Quality Teachers’ while improving each unit by the same overall percentage.

The district’s final proposal of the evening suggested that the funds initially be split 90/10 between the represented units and non-represented units. This would reserve 90% of the referendum salary improvement dollars to be bargained by HCTA and HUSW, while allowing the district to determine how the remaining 10% would be distributed to confidential, professional technical, and administrative employees. The parties suspended negotiations for the evening with an agreement to resume the joint bargaining of millage funds after HCTA and the district have addressed this year’s Teacher Salary Increase Allocation.

It is anticipated that the negotiation of TSIA for instructional raises will be the primary focus of bargaining sessions through the month of September. Districts are required to report TSIA distribution plans by Oct 1st.  Please stay alert for updates and possible calls for action from HCTA.