Hold Manatee County school board accountable for financial mess

May 4, 2014 

Staff Photographer

People fill all available seats during an October 2013 school board meeting. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

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Who is to blame for the Manatee school district's financial and personnel problems?

For the past year, I have read weekly articles with interest concerning the blames, the opinions, solutions, and the display of board member disagreements in the public view.

It seems to me these items change from time to time. Maybe it is time for an official review by a qualified, impartial panel!

Florida law defines the "responsibilities" of school board members. Article IX, Section 4(b) has 21 sections in the list. I will list a few, pertinent to the above problems, usually covered in news articles:

Section 12: Govern personnel matters ... (employment) (clearance for employment)

Section 14: Provide for student welfare and discipline ... (student protection)

Section 18: Provide for "fiscal management" for the schools ... (finances)

Section 19: Implement school improvement and "accountability" (finances)

Section 21: Sponsor charter schools ... approval or denial ... and termination of low performing or financial unsound charter schools ... (finances)

If the school board employed all personnel, approved all budgets, practices fiscal management, and fulfilled accountability requirements, the responsibility questions may be easy to answer.

Is it time for a new school board?

Roger Goddard

Bradenton

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