BRADENTON -- As the Manatee County School District works with the school board and community to finalize the budget for the 2014-2015 school year, it has become necessary to develop a list of priorities for surplus spending as aligned to the new strategic plan. The 2013-2014 budget is expected to close at a fund balance surplus of $14.3 million and the district recently announced its priority list.
The district has achieved a remarkable $28 million financial turnaround during the last year. The turnaround means the Manatee District will not only meet its state required fund balance for the first time since 2009, but it will also have additional surplus dollars to address targeted needs of students and schools, at least into next school year.
“The hard work and sacrifices made by the school board, our school district team and this community made this financial turnaround possible,” said Superintendent Mills. “As we move forward together, we need to make sure we maintain fiscal discipline, full transparency and align all of our spending decisions to our district’s strategic plan.”
Mills says he plans to present the following list of priorities to the School Board at its next meeting on Tuesday, August 26 to be integrated into the current school year budget or have already been budgeted/purchased.
* Invest an additional $5 million in school staffing.
* Invest an additional $5 million in instructional resources for K-8 classrooms.
* Invest in additional classroom technology with the more than 6,100 “ThinkPad” computer devices and additional mobile laptop computer carts.
* Invest in all our employees with salary enhancements (based on budget allowance and union contract negotiations).
* Invest $1 million in safety and security by paying for armed security staff in elementary schools.
* Repay the remaining balance of borrowed school internal funds (to cover year 2 and year 3 installments).
* Implementing the new Enterprise Resource Package (ERP) payroll/budget/finance system which will allow the district to significantly improve customer service, operational efficiency and effectiveness.
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