SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Sarasota County School Board has unanimously approved a $704 million tentative budget for the 2014-15 year. That's a reduction of $69 million from last year.
Despite the smaller budget, the board made fewer cuts and cost avoidance items.
School Board members are expected to adopt the budget on September 16th.
However, the board voted to refuse to pay nearly a half-million dollars to a former special-ed teacher who was accused of abusing her students.
In February 2008, Venice Elementary teacher Diana O'Neill was arrested and charged after aides reported incidents of the teacher allegedly hitting students.
O'Neill was acquitted of those charges in 2009.