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East County Friday, Jun. 28, 2013 4 years ago

State approves Manatee Schools' recovery plan

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

The Manatee County School District's plan for financial recovery has satisfied the state, preventing the Florida Department of Education from becoming involved in the district's operations.

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett on Thursday sent a letter to Manatee County District officials that approved the district’s financial recovery plan, which is designed to return the district to a 3% fund balance by June 30, 2014.

If Bennett had not approved the plan, the state would have more directly intervened, and the district would have been subject to state takeover.

This year, Manatee Schools did not meet the state-required 3% fund balance for the third consecutive year. 

The plan, a version of which is posted on the district’s website and was presented to the School Board and public early in June, includes 80 cuts to district office staff positions and the addition of seven new positions, including a director of budget and a chief information officer.

Sixteen more cuts to district office staff in operations were not included in the plan submitted to the state, which is strictly a fund-recovery plan that only deals with the fund balance. 

It also includes 182 teacher layoffs made in May, property sales, the closing of the old MTI campus, fleet reduction and other measures.

A state monitoring team will evaluate the district’s finances quarterly during the 2013-14 school year. 

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].

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