State audit points to $7.2M in questionable Manatee School District spending

skennedy@bradenton.comDecember 3, 2013 

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Manatee County Schools Superintendent Rick Mills listens to public comments during a school board meeting earlier this month. FILE PHOTO/PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

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MANATEE — The Manatee County School District could face as much as a $7.2 million reduction in its general fund balance, a school official said Tuesday following the release of an audit.

Of that, $5,482,004 may not have been spent in accordance with funding guidelines, according to preliminary findings of the preliminary operational audit by the Florida auditor general as summarized by district spokesman Steve Valley.

“This may require reinstatement of costs from the general fund,” according to the summary, which said that the audit focused on the 2012-2013 school year, but also addressed financial concerns dating as far back as 2005-2006.

In addition, a workers compensation fund deficit of $1,712,448 will require the majority of repayment to come from the general fund over the next two years, the summary said.

Those two items, plus approximately $65,255 in purchasing card rebates owed to other funds, amount to $7,259,707, the summary said.

Another potential $1,743,659 of questioned costs in capital funds may not have been spent in accordance with funding guidelines, but may be absorbed by other capital funds and should not impact the general fund, the summary stated.

The district has 30 days to respond to the audit findings, and may be able to mitigate some of the questioned costs.

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