PeopleSoft will overhaul the district's payroll, budgeting, inventory and other financial programs.
Two hours after its discussion on lack of funding to hire more teachers for elementary, middle and high schools, the Manatee County School Board said yes to an expensive software program.
Within 13 months, the district hopes to roll out a new system for its Human Resources Department, payroll, assets, budgeting, inventory and other areas involving financial business management.
The software program, PeopleSoft, will cost $9.8 million including implementation, which will take a few years to be fully in place, said Patrick Fletcher, chief information and technology officer for the Manatee County School District.
"This is moving us into the 21st Century," board Chairwoman Karen Carpenter said.
Board member Dave Miner agreed.
"We've been in the horse-and-buggy- stage for too long," Miner said. "We've been doing too much on paper."
Lee County currently uses the system, and is serving as a model for Manatee County.
Some board members, such as John Colon, voiced concerns that the project could become even more expensive, because there's no ceiling, or "not to exceed," amount spelled out in the contract.
"Lee County has already gone through this process," Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said. "They are larger than our school district. We're piggybacking on that and putting in all the variables to prevent additional costs from accruing."