MANATEE COUNTY -- The Manatee County School District is predicting it will have a $3 million to $4 million budget surplus as it closes out the 2013-14 school year.
Don Hall, the Manatee School district's superintendent of operations, is expected to tell the school board about the surplus at Tuesday evening's meeting.
The district had been predicting earlier this year that it would end the year with more than $8 million in reserves. But still district officials say the news is reason to celebrate as it is the first time since the 2010-2011 school year that the Manatee District has ended a school year with a positive fund balance.
The Florida Department of Education told the district this year it had to repay $5.9 million in misspent funds dating back to 2005. The Manatee District has not met its fund balance requirement since the 2009-2010 school year.
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The positive fund balance posted for the 2013-2014 school year is a remarkable achievement considering the Manatee District started the year with a deficit of $8.6 million resulting from overspending the previous school year, according to a press release sent from the district.
The district credits the turnaround to "a lengthy list of cost efficiencies and reductions, such as the closure of Central High School, as well as sales of surplus school district properties."
Moving into the 2014-2015 school year with a balanced budget and surplus, the Manatee District is now projecting a $12.5 million fund balance for the next school year that would meet the state's fund balance requirement of 3 percent, according to its press release. More details on the 2014-2015 budget will be discussed at Tuesday's regularly scheduled school board meeting, 215 Manatee Avenue West, in Bradenton.