BRADENTON – As the end of the fiscal year approaches, the Manatee County School District has froze discretionary spending in hopes of improving its financial position after recently computing that there are literally no reserves. The fiscal year ends in seven weeks, but Superintendent Rick Mills and Board Chair Karen Carpenter hope the move will help the district partially recover from shortfalls.
Employees were notified of the new policy this week and told that they will be charged for any unapproved spending. Until the district closes out the fiscal year on June 30, there is to be no spending that is not a statutory requirement. Meanwhile, schools will have to get by on internal funding from sources like food-vending machines, athletic event proceeds and fundraising.
The district had already cut all non-contracted hourly positions, froze hiring, and overtime has been limited to emergency situations approved by the superintendent. Even with the addition of the discretionary freeze, the district is expected to fall well below the required fund balance of 3 percent, forcing them to notify the state of their deficit before June 30.
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