Superintendent unveils plan to fix Manatee County School District financial problem

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -  

Manatee School Superintendent Rick Mills unveiled a plan Friday to address financial problems with the district.  The reserve fund fell more than $6 million short of state requirements.
 
In a memo, Mills talks about a transition team to put together an economic recovery plan.
 
Katrina Parrimon's kids go to G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary School in Bradenton. She found out Friday afternoon of the district's financial woes.  Parrimon said, "They're supposed to have a budget set out for everything the kids need."
 
District officials say this marks the third year the district has not met state terms.  They say the financial issues started when software, put in place to help keep track of new hires and the budget, stopped working. 
 
Pat Barber is with the Manatee Education Association. Barber said, "It makes me very angry to think that employees suffered. Classroom funds were cut. So we're where we are now. My question is how do we move forward?"
 
District sources say one school board member also discussed the possibility of closing schools. That doesn't sit well with some parents. 
 
Parrimon said, "Then you'll have to go through the whole process again and find another school and it's just a lot of hassle."
 
But, district officials say it's much too early to know for sure if that possibility will become a reality.
 
Superintendent Mills says his team is expected to have an economic recovery plan in place by June.
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