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Manatee School District Budgets Presented to Board

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BRADENTON – Michael Boyer, District Chief Financial Officer, presented the Manatee County School Board with the details of the district's 2013-14 budget at Monday's workshop, which was mostly about presenting new measures that the finance department will take to prevent errors in the budget, in addition to showing projected revenue for the coming school year.

Boyer noted that the projected $22.4 million increase in revenue for 2013-14 would largely go to teacher salary increases - more than $8 million to be exact.

Identification of unbudgeted items, which Boyer acknowledged were one of the major issues from the 2012-13 budget, was brought up as something that will be a focal point moving forward through the use of a three-year trend report.

Explaining that the new processes used in the 2013-14 budget hadn't been activated until "a couple months ago...until once June (of 2013) posted," Boyer said that budget shortfalls for the coming year and payroll encumbrance (or estimates of the expense of salaries and benefits), which makes up 75 percent of the budget, were not identified until then.

Boyer said that 3 out of 4 phases for transitioning to an era that is more efficient in monitoring its budgets - which included identifying and remediating budget shortfalls - had been completed, and that "building a culture of financial ownershiop and accountability" was the focus of the current and final phase.

Boyer broke the final phase into the responsibilities of three departments: finance, which he said, "will create the budgetary process, user tools, compile, analyze, communicate, build and maintain Budgetary controls"; senior management, which will "align their expenditures with the district's strategic financial goals (and will share) the same responsibilities as cost center ownership, which he advised would now have full accountability for managing, explaining and preventing all budgetary shortfalls.

Boyer told the board that a preliminary budget will be released during the second week of June, and a tentative budget will be released around mid-July. A final budget would be released in September.


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