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Community Letter to the Editor: Concerns Regarding School District Budget Errors


In September of 2011, the Manatee County School Board voted on the budget for 2011-12 and passed it 3 to 2. However, this budget had some significant errors. Is it possible that the School Board members didn't take the time to read it before approving it?

Here are a few examples of the errors and omissions:

  • The 2011-12 portion of the budgets for the Printing Department, Property Records Department and Student Demographics Department  were missing entirely.
  • The School Management-Middle budget was omitted from the report.
  • There are errors in addition that a third grader would have caught.
  • The Staff Attorney Department has one secretary and a specialist with personnel cost of $313,000.
  • In Risk Management, employee numbers stayed the same, but personnel cost increased by $63,000.
  • Instructional TV Program reduced one employee, but increased personnel cost by $58,000.
  • The number of Finance Department employees stayed the same, but personnel cost increased by $40,090 and new calculations indicated that the payroll cost has been overstated by $68,000.
  • Transportation - the personnel cost has been overstated by $260,000 due to an error in the social security calculations.

So far, revealed in the line item budget presentations campaigned for by board memmber Julie Aranabar, every department miscalculated social security by doubling the number.

The school district has refused to break down the operating budget separating salaries and benefits. But thumbnail calculations indicate that this "ERROR" could amount to a $5 million overstatement of expenses.

Remember, School board members are voted by the entire county. Let your voices be heard in 2012.

Peggy Martin

Florida Assessment Committee for Education

Educational Committee of Manatee


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