Manatee County School district releases economic recovery plan

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Posted: Monday, June 3, 2013 5:39 pm | Updated: 9:08 pm, Tue Jun 18, 2013.

BRADENTON - Faced with the threat of being overtaken by the state and with its teachers fearing layoffs, the Manatee County School District is releasing a new recovery plan they hope can help turn around its dire financial situation -- and it includes $21.9 million in cuts.

"We're at the fiscal cliff, and we have to do what we have to do to get fiscally sound," said Manatee County School Superintendent Rick Mills.

Mills released the action plan to get the district out of a $38 million budget shortfall; a 90-plus page report by the state's transition team is the basis for that plan. But, the report did more than just examine the district's financial health.

"As it says in the report, this district has had a lack of leadership and commitment and has lost sight of the goal to prepare students," said Mills.

And the report didn't stop there.

"There is a culture of reaction rather than a proactive commitment to excellence.  Most say they want change, but few embrace the change -- especially if it affects them or their friends," Mills added as he quoted pages of the report.

According to Mills, the report gave a full analysis of the school district and all its components.  

The recovery is broken down into 3 phases: cost recovery, revenue enhancements and systematic change.  And that change will include the loss of jobs; 96 of which are from the district offices.

Deputy superintendent Diana Green says about 180 are teachers and school support staff.  "Prior to this year, Manatee County has used a much more generous class size, and we are at a point where we can no longer afford to have our class sizes below the state's required class size amendment," said Green.

But the changes do include adding 7 jobs the district says is needed to implement the recovery plan.  They also say the money saved from trimming the fat will be used wisely.  "We're reserving sufficient funds for a proposed 2% raise for all employees except for senior management."

In addition, the district says they will use the money saved from balancing the budget to pay back the money they borrowed from area schools general funds.  And Mills says none of which will be possible if the cuts aren't made.  "If we don't take the most ouster measures to turn the school district around we will be subjected to state take over."

The transition team will be here next week to discuss the details of their report.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • canary posted at 8:13 am on Wed, Jun 5, 2013.

    canary Posts: 4

    Actually your rules of conduct don't apply to government. When you challenge them on their "facts" you get threatened, abused, bullied and not. All the data about the abuses of Manatee County can be found in the minutes of their board meetings. The State of Florida DOE is only involved with the transition team because they want to head off any questions as to how it was allowed to degrade to the situation that it is. Many citizens of Manatee County attempted to alert the State DOE, the Insurance Commissioner, the State Attorney, the Govenors office and each and every one of these higher ups said NOT OUR JOB. I personally spoke with the last state auditor, he said "regretfully the scope of my audit precludes the issues". Those issues were lack of transparency on financial data, school room data, state law governoring the spending of sales tax money, co-mingling of funds from different revenue sources, violation of statuary law on many levels including the Sunshine. No one would listen, no would took action. Look to your own backyard, is it all neat and tidy on the surface? Remember they all believe debt is the holy grail that if you can get more credit (which is really debt) your moving right along on track. But getting your input into action is impossible and the system has mechanisms to lock out the public all time favorite of government elected and employees "it is so complicated and huge, that even our experts have a problem". This is the government we own; and public schools are huge government. They with their ability to propagandize control the future of our country. And it is propaganda, they teach that there is global warming caused by man - that is not fact that is a monetary theory which is transfering the profits around the globe into whose pockets? The politicians. They are creating a society that doesn't worry what they are doing with that thumb print, that palm print, that iris scan and perhaps they will now collect your entire DNA. Why does your government need such intrusive personal knowledge on every person? Yes it will be every person as we have compulsary schooling. And with the ability of the Affordable Health Care Act they can just make a new ruling that when you pay your premium please drop off your tissue sample as well. And who will speak up for you? I know - no one because they have already created enough government trained citizens. Step up to the plate, teach your children by entering the government structure of your backyards and help to re-educate the educators of why they are needed.

  • canary posted at 7:50 am on Wed, Jun 5, 2013.

    canary Posts: 4

    [wink]for ten years citizens have seen the red flags and the board and the district refused to answer questions as required by statue. There is no mechanism within the statues to stop the stonewalling that government has adopted. Your local newspapers just ran pr pieces of all the great work the district was doing. Meanwhile, they ran it into a financial disaster, academics are a mess but boy do they have pretty buildings and a lot of them too. Not one persone was brought to justice for this mess and in fact they moved to other districts and are being lauded as "brilliant". What they are brilliant at is abusing the public trust, the public money and sliding out the door when the house of cards they built just like any other con man, when the gig is up. Great educational example for all our young people eh? As PT Barnum stated it "there's a sucker born every minute" when it comes to the "art of education" that would be every second.


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