Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The former CEO of Minneapolis schools takes the helm of a district pleagued by mismanagement that led to a $3.4 million deficit.
Manatee County schools have a new leader: Rick Mills, the former CEO of the Minneapolis School District. Mills was sworn in Wednesday morning as the new superintendent for the Manatee County School District. School board members were at the swearing-in ceremony. Judge Thomas Gallen administered the oath to Mills, who spoke about his previous military career and how he valued the change he made from military to schools a dozen years ago. Mills told the gathering that he looks forward to leading the district, according to the Bradenton Herald. There has been a vacuum of leadership at the top. The problems in leadership were underscored by the sudden resignation in September 2012 of Superintendent Tim McGonegal and the revelation that the …
Monday, February 11, 2013
A public reception, sponsored by the Manatee Education Foundation, will take place at Pier 22 tonight.
The six candidates for Superintendent of Manatee County Schools will undergo a series of interviews this week at the School Support Center in Bradenton. The six candidates will be interviewed starting today. The candidates, listed in alphabetical order, are: On Monday, the six candidates will participate in a round-robin cycle of interviews beginning at 8:30 a.m. Each candidate will spend one-hour and 20 minutes in five different interview settings taking questions from various constituencies including the Manatee County School Board, the Manatee Education Association, AFSCME, the Citizens Advisory Group and School District Staff. Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Auditors said there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, despite pervasive accounting errors and a failure to immediately report mistakes to the school board.
Auditors who examined the Manatee County School districts finances said there was no evidence of embezzlement or criminal wrongdoing, even though there were so many problems with the budget system the district lost nearly $33 million in one month. Navigant, the Chicago firm hired to conduct the audit, found that the finance department used an obsolete soft ware program that "could not add or subtract, and could not be relied upon for budget preparation." That software was one of the factors that led to the school district reporting a revenue surplus of $17.6 million on April 30, 2011 and then a month later on May 31 reporting a $15.2 million deficit, a nearly $33 million difference. The Bradenton Herald reported that the committee placed …
Monday, November 5, 2012
A collaboration team representing the United States and Canada finished thirteenth after fierce competition at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Three Manatee County students, part of a collaboration team representing the United States and Canada, finished thirteenth in a fierce Formula One competition at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Velox F1, the collaboration team representing the United States and Canada, was one of 33 teams from 22 countries competing in the event with more than 350 students competing for top awards. Cold Fusion, an Australian team, claimed the F1 in Schools World Champions title. The runners-up were Team Ignite from the United Kingdom with Team Rush from England claiming the third place honors. The competition was held inside the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World on Yas Island overlooking the prestigious Yas Marina Formula One Circuit in …
Friday, October 19, 2012
A readers asks about the whereabouts of Chief Financial Office Michael Boyer as the Manatee School District faces an unexpected budget gap and a forensic audit to determine what went wrong.
Letter to the editor October 19, 2012 Has anyone noticed the absence of the CFO of the Manatee School District? It is rumored that Michael Boyer has taken a two week vacation. How can this be? Right in the middle of a financial crises. Never mind the fact that he has only worked at the District since March 2012. Does it make you wonder if he was asked to disappear for a while? So we are in the middle of a forensic audit and introducing a new interim superintendent and the CFO is conspicuously missing. And the saga goes on, and on, and on and ………. -- Michael Becks
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A large deficit led the school district to call on an independent auditor to review all of the school district's finances.
Robert Gagnon, who was named an assistant superintendent just six months ago, is now serving as the interim superintendent of schools as the Manatee County School Board searches for a Superintendent who can clean up the mess Tim McGonegal left behind with an immediate resignation Monday. The district is dealing with a major deficit that will require a state-approved plan to fix, the finances are in disarray as the public calls on external auditors to come in and figure out who financial leaders forgot to include expenses for teachers and textbooks in the school budget and the board is fractured as the public has lost confidence in the school district. At Monday night's meeting Dave Miner, who is running for a seat on the school board, …
Tim McGonegal sent a memo to the School Board about the deficit on the same day he announced his resignation.
On the same day Superintendent Tim McGonegal made a suprise announcement that he planned to retire, he informed the School Board in a memo that the district faces a $3 million deficit. After months of optimism about the schools budget, so much so that the board had considered a pay raise for teachers, the district must now consider a hiring freeze and possible scaling back teacher raises. What led to the unexpected budget gap? In his memo to board members, McGonegal said: In total, teacher salaries and benefits were $6.7 million over budget in 2011-12. In addition, his memo said the district had neglected to budget $700,000 for text books and another $480,000 for teachers at the district's virtual schools. McGonegal then laid out a plan …
Thursday, September 6, 2012
The school board chairman said he was surprised at Tim McGonegal's announcement that he would retire. He is now moving quickly to organize a search for a new Superintendent.
School Board Chairman Harry Kinnan said he was initially surpirsed at the Superintendent's decision to retire effective Feb. 28. Afterall, the board had just extended the superintendent's contract and given him a good performance evaluation. But Kinnan said he realized that the last four years have been stressful for everyone in the district. And McGonegal has had to lead the district through some tough decisions as he cut the budget from $700 million four years ago to $550 million today. "The stress of the job led him to come to this decision," Kinnan said. "Dr. McGonegal has given his heart and soul to this district." McGonegal, 54, will retire from the schools chief position nearly four years after he took the job. His departure will …
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Manatee School District is challenging organizations to help restock the shelves at the food bank.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
The shelves at the Food Bank of Manatee are nearly empty and dangerously close to being unable to service the more than 100 local agencies and food pantries which help feed as many as 60,000 people in our community each month. To help restock the shelves at the Food Bank of Manatee, School District and Manatee County Government leaders are calling all sorts of local organizations to participate in a “Food Challenge” in which schools, churches, hospitals, civic groups and others set a goal of collecting either 1,000 pounds of food or raising $1,000, or a combination of the two during the month of September. Manatee School Board member Julie Aranibar and Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore are spearheading this effort and encouraging …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The state released elementary and middle schools grades today. Tougher grading on standardized tests led to drops in grades at many schools. Eleven local schools received D grades this year.
More than two dozen Manatee County District Schools saw their State school grades drop this year. Just 74 percent of Manatee District schools received an A, B or C this year. Last year 94 percent of schools received those grades. In total, 53 Manatee District elementary and middle schools received School Grades from the state today, of those 27 schools saw their grades drop. School Grades for high schools will be released later this year. The increased rigor of FCAT 2.0 and tougher scoring impacted School Grades across Florida. Manatee District results reflected the following: Five Manatee District schools did raise their School Grades this year compared to 2011, including Braden River Elementary and Buffalo Creek Middle, which both moved …