Hillsborough County Schools Bell Schedule: Who carries the burden for an hour-apart-school-start-time?

Bus and bell scheduling is a difficult problem given all the inputs and constraints.  It feels like the current approach by the county is a one-size-fits-all band-aid getting slapped onto a complex problem.  Increasing start times between schools may help alleviate the problem but is it actually addressing the primary issues causing late buses (a.k.a. the root cause)?

It seems like we are being told that elapsed times are too short.  In 2016, absenteeism and extended leave were mentioned as causes by a Hillsborough County Schools employee in this ABC Action News Report (time marker 1:41).  There was a driver absenteeism rate of 13% reported by Gibson Consulting Group (1, p. 140).  This year we are told it is elapsed times. The convenient answer seems to be to increase elapsed times (time between school starts or releases).

Instead of first fixing other problems, the county has proposed increasing elapsed times to an hour, shifting burden onto students and parents.  It is a disruption to quality of life, after school activities, work, finances, and productivity for many families that utilize and pay for the public school system.


¹Gibson Consulting Group, Inc., Phase II: Operational Efficiency Audit – Comprehensive Report for Hillsborough County Public Schools

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