Tampa: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Like all public schools in the state, the public elementary and secondary schools of Tampa are part of a county-wide district. The Hillsborough district, third largest in the state and tenth largest in the country, is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board that appoints a superintendent.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Hillsborough County Public Schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 175,454

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 130

junior high/middle schools: 42

senior high schools: 26

other: 20 charter schools

Student/teacher ratio: 16.7:1 average

Teacher salaries

average: $38,762

Funding per pupil: $3,494

More than 120 private and parochial schools also operate in Hillsborough County. These range from institutions that stress achievement-oriented college preparatory courses to those that emphasize basic education combined with strict religious training.

Public Schools Information: Hillsborough County Public Schools, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., PO Box 3408, Tampa, FL 33601-3408; telephone (813)272-4000

Colleges and Universities

Hillsborough County has five fully accredited institutions of higher learning: the University of South Florida (with more than 34,000 students), the University of Tampa, Tampa College, Florida College, and Hillsborough Community College. Also in Tampa are Education America–Tampa Technical Institute Campus, a two-year program, and ITT Technical Institute, primarily a two-year institution that also awards bachelor's degrees in electronics engineering technology. A four-year program is offered at International Academy of Merchandising and Design.

Libraries and Research Centers

In addition to its main branch in the downtown area (the John F. Germany Library), the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system has 21 branches. Its collection numbers over four million books, plus numerous films, records, talking books, magazines, newspapers, maps, photographs, and art reproductions. Many of the systems libraries were undergoing refurbishment and expansion in the early 2000s; the new 15,000 square foot Upper Tampa Bay branch was dedicated in January 2005. Tampa also boasts more than 20 research centers, most of which are affiliated with the University of South Florida (USF) and are active in the fields of business, health care, and the development of high-technology equipment. USF's multimillion dollar public-private partnership with Lucent Technologies Inc. is part of a larger initiative through the 1-4 Technology Corridor, an initiative based on cooperative business and academic ventures from Pinellas to Brevard counties. Lucent agreed to donate millions of dollars in money and equipment to further local semiconductor research.

Public Library Information: John F. Germany Library, 900 N. Ashley, Tampa, FL 33602; telephone (813)273-3652; fax (813)272-5640