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Manatee School Board Approves Final Budget and Millage Rate

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photo by Dennis Maley

BRADENTON - After last week's decision to postpone voting on the school district's 2013-14 budget and millage rate until Tuesday evening, the board concluded its final public hearing on both and approved them 4-0. Board member Bob Gause was absent due to a prior commitment. 

The millage for FY 2013-14 will be 7.572, down from 7.589. The budget amount for the fiscal year will be $568,343,187, an increase from last year's troubled budget of $553,716,172. 

That budget contained a multi-million dollar shortfall, and as a result new superintendent Rick Mills's staff made cutbacks such as teacher layoffs and district property sales as part of a "leaner" 2013-14 budget (the increase of this year's budget is in part due to an increase in student population). At the same time, the board recently approved pay raises for union employees within the district, largely funded by an increase in state funding. 

Regarding the millage rate, four separate votes were made at the meeting: approving of supplemental operating discretionary millage of FY 2013-14 of 0.748; approval of local effort millage for FY 2013-14 of 5.324 mills; approval of capital outlay millage for FY 2013-14 of 1.50 mills, and approval of the total millage of 7.5720. All items were passed 4-0. 

Superintendent Rick Mills called the budget "realistic and executable" and said that it would help the district move forward successfully.


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