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East County Thursday, Jun. 11, 2009 13 years ago

$13.6M cuts will affect every school in Manatee

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

MANATEE COUNTY — At least two East County schools will lose assistant principals as part of the $13.6 million in budget cuts approved by the Manatee County School Board Monday.

Braden River Elementary and Lakewood Ranch High School are among the schools that will lose an assistant principal. Manatee, Palm View and Wakeland elementaries and Bayshore High School also will lose the position, said district Public Information Officer Margi Nanney. District officials expect the measure to save $900,000.

In addition to those cuts, the board approved Superintendent Tim McGonegal’s recommendation to eliminate one specials teacher at every elementary school (a $1,249,192 savings), one elective teacher at each high school (a $378,540 savings) and all 36 reading coach positions (a $1,135,620 savings). The board also approved the reduction or elimination of field trip allocation for all elementary and middle schools for a savings of $140,000.

The district hopes to offset the elimination of elementary specials teachers with teacher assistants and the reading coaches with 18 reading teachers. The elimination of the high school elective teachers will be done through attrition and likely will take all school year to complete, said Director of Secondary Schools Angela Essig.

Furthermore, Duette Elementary will change to a contract site school next year for a savings of $118,000. The school served 10 students last year, and if the community wants it to remain open, it would have to operate like a charter school.

The district also will eliminate five bus routes to save $175,000 and one custodian position at each high school to save $207,438. At the district level, the board approved eliminating 48 district office positions for a savings of $3,528,555.

These cuts come after the district shaved $30 million during the 2008-09 year.

Originally, the district estimated a $20 million reduction for the 2009-10 school year. However, with the help of federal stabilization monies, the district now estimates a $25 million reduction over the next three years. Although difficult, McGonegal calls that number “manageable” if the district begins trimming immediately.

“We cannot wait until year three to make the $25 million in cuts,” he told the board. “We need to begin today to size our organization to the revenue available.”

Despite the reduction in elective and specials teachers, McGonegal mandated that those cuts cannot cause the elimination of art and music programs. He also noted the cuts do not include a reduction of school resource officers, school closings or across-the-board salary reductions. Furthermore, the cuts retain a five-day school week. Shortening to a four-day week would “be a big mistake for many reasons,” he said.

Contact Michael Eng at [email protected].

Superintendents' Recommendation for Budget Cuts in 2009-10: Savings

1. Eliminate 48 district office positions and reductions in district budget: $3,528,555

2. District share of savings from the Energy Challenge and other savings: $350,000 

3. Parking lot lights out from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.: $64,962
4. Install programmable thermostats in portables: $85,633  

5. Change Duette to a Conversion Charter School 09-10 FY: $118,000 

6. Reduce or eliminate the field trips allocation for elementary and middle schools: $140,000 

7.  Establish a new pay scale and guidelines for employees returning to work from DROP: $400,000 

8.  Eliminate use of Pinnacle gradebook program at elementary schools: $15,576  

9. Reduce by 50% special allocations to magnet schools (Project 0405): $57,500 
10. Reduce the funding for Challenge Day from $66,000 to $6,000: $60,000  

11. Reduce by 10% the cost of extracurricular supplements such as sports, dance, music, academic, student group leaders, etc. (reduction in the number of supplements, not the amount per supplement): $97,446  

12. Eliminate allocation of 36 reading coaches (allocate 18 reading teachers): $1,135,620

13. Reduce the purchase of Voyager instructional materials: $300,000 

14. Lease the Parent Information Center (Move employees to the Owens Annex at the School Support Center): $83,000  

15. Eliminate the assistant principal position at schools with less than 575 students: $900,000 

16. Reduce one elective teacher at each high school (art and music programs cannot be eliminated): $378,540 

17. Reduce by 25% the ACT Performance Funding for vocational programs: $78,117  

18. Discontinue Stanford testing for grade one: $100,000 

19. Eliminate one custodian from high schools (through attrition): $207,438 

20. Decrease by 50% use of subs for in-service (in-service during the school day): $210,197
21. Implement an application fee for new hires (A fee of $50 times 300 new hires for 09/10): $15,000  

22. Reduce by 50% the cost of out of county travel for employees (professional development/meetings): $170,613 

23. Generate revenue through cell phone towers (focus on sites that are vacant and future school sites): $162,000 

24. Eliminate (through attrition) 1.0 basic aide position from each elementary school. Each school would be given a pot of dollars that would be used to bring in substitute aides for 180 days: $371,484 

25. Create an alternative 12-month calendar that will provide employees with an option for four days off without pay: $100,000 

26. Use the flexibility provided by the legislature to use instructional materials funds to pay for teachers: $1,000,000

27. Savings from diesel fuel prices being reduced from last year to this year. $500,000 

28. Eliminate one specials teacher at elementary, replace with a teacher assistant (art and music programs cannot be eliminated): $1,249,182

29. Increase print volume of the Print Shop to lower the cost of printing district-wide: $250,000 

30. Savings from not having to budget for the Kaplan Contract for Core Curriculum: $1,500,000

TOTAL CUTS: $13,628,862


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