The Manatee County School District has enacted a spending freeze effective Monday, April 28 through June 30.
In a memo to principals and department heads, Don Hall, the district’s deputy superintendent of operations, said the freeze is required for the district to balance its budget.
“As Superintendent (Rick) Mills shared with you last week, we have had some major successes even within a financially difficult period,” Hall wrote in the April 23 memo. “However, he also shared that we would have to look at some additional measures to improve our final closing balance.”
The district has previously said it projects to have an $8.1 million surplus in its fund balance by June 30.
But that projected surplus does not take into account two State Auditor General’s Office reports, produced in December, which revealed the district could spend more than $9 million to recover from major financial errors incurred in the past.
Superintendent Rick Mills is negotiating with the Florida Department of Education to reduce the fines down, so the district can preserve its positive fund balance.
In his memo, Hall said the district has not yet learned what the costs to the state will be.
Employee “Pcards” that act as credit cards will be shut down during the freeze.
Exceptions would be purchases that support “life, health and safety of students and staff.”
The freeze does not include money in individual school’s internal funds — savings accounts — funds from state and federal grants and money for operational supplies, tools and equipment.
Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].