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News Section: Schools and Education



New Budget Completes Remarkable Fiscal Turnaround for School District

Published Saturday, August 2, 2014 12:05 am

BRADENTON -- On Thursday, the Manatee County School Board approved a tentative budget for next year which includes a million dollar increase in the district’s projected surplus and a million more for additional safety measures, including a proposal for adding a full-time armed security personnel in every elementary school.

https://www.thebradentontimes.com/clientuploads/SchoolBoard/Mills_2013.jpg
Superintendent Rick Mills

The fund balance for the 2014-2015 school year is now projected to be $13.5 million, nearly two million more than the $12.5 million surplus previously presented to the School Board. The projected $13.5 million surplus represents a major recovery.

Just one year ago, the district began the 2013-2014 school year with a $8.9 million shortfall. Then they were hit by an assessment of $5.9 million by the Florida Department of Education for past financial failures and fiscal mismanagement, all of which had to be paid back in restoration costs. The reserve balance will allow the Manatee District to meet its state required fund balance next year (having at least $10 million in reserves) for the first time since the 2009-2010 school year.

“This represents a $20.8 million turnaround for our school district, which was aligned to the $21 million Fiscal Recovery Plan instituted in the summer of 2013,” said Superintendent Rick Mills. “This has been the result of an extraordinary performance by this School Board, our school district staff and this community. We have brought this school district back to a state of fiscal stability and it is an extraordinary success story we can all celebrate.”

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