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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

In defense of her budget



Heatherf Over the past 10 days, Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino has been blitzed with e-mails and letters asking - often angrily - why she didn't recommend a budget that tried harder to give employee raises.

Why hasn't the district tapped its reserves?, they wanted to know. Why doesn't it cut more programs and make employees the priority? How can neighboring districts give raises when Pasco can't seem to find the money?

This morning, Fiorentino responded.

In a seven-page e-mail to all employees, the superintendent quoted statute, accounting practices, policy and budget to detail why the district could, for instance, finalize a budget while still conducting contract negotiations in good faith.

She also attached a list of cuts that the administration has put in place to cope with a reduction in state funding, and a chart detailing the district's current fund balances.

"I hope this email clarifies any misinformation you may have received and provides you with a clear picture of the financial issues facing our district," she concluded, offering to answer any further questions that she receives.

If the response to her last e-mail to employees serves as any gauge, Fiorentino probably will get quite a few.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:58am]


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