Decision Day For School District Budget Cuts
Manatee County School Board to consider superintendent's latest proposal for 2011-12 at Monday night's meeting.
The Manatee County School Board on Monday will consider Superintendent Tim McGonegal's latest budget proposal for 2011-12, a plan that will cut 27 jobs, hold six others vacant for up to a year and impose as many as seven furlough days for some district employees.
School board members were set to vote on McGonegal's original proposals on June 13, but they sent the superintendent back to the drawing board in an effort to reduce or eliminate cuts that would affect the classroom.
McGonegal's new plan (see attached PDF) reduces school media budgets by $55,000 instead of $110,000 and restores another $300,000 that was slated to be cut from schools.
To make up for it, the proposal includes up to seven furlough days for supervisors, administrators and managers at the highest pay grade, including a five-day spring break shutdown that would save more than $1.75 million. Principals and assistant principals would take four furlough days and teachers two.
McGonegal's plan trims a total of $11.16 million from next year's budget. It also notes that if the board wants to cut more, a district-wide 1 percent salary reduction would generate an additional savings of $2.3 million.
The superintendent has drawn criticism from some members of the district's budget review committee, two of whom have formed a group that is calling for him to be replaced.
The Committee for Improving the Education of Children in Manatee County, founded by Tom Garland and Richard Greene, is calling for the school board "to initiate a nationwide search for a new superintendent with a proven track record of improving student results," the group stated in a press release.
The CIEC is also asking for the immediate termination of board attorney John Bowen "for cause" and wants an investigation of recent lawsuits which it says have cost the district "hundreds of thousands of dollars that could otherwise gone into the classroom."
The group will hold a 4:30 p.m. press conference in the parking lot of the district's administration building prior to the 5:45 p.m. school board meeting.
The full agenda can be viewed online.