SARASOTA — The Sarasota County School Board adopted a nearly $933 million budget Tuesday.

The sum includes $446 million in its operating budget, up $9 million from last year.

Higher enrollment numbers were among several factors that drove the increase in the operating budget. With an expected 460 more students enrolling in Sarasota County schools this year, the district will receive more funding for those students.

An additional 14 teachers were hired to serve the growing number of students, district officials noted.

However, most of those students are not attending traditional public schools. Budget documents show 441 of those students are predicted to enroll at charter schools, which has led the district to hand over even more money to charters this year.

The district is projected to allocate $62 million to charter schools, but the sum may change depending on final enrollment numbers, said Mitsi Corcoran, the district’s chief financial officer.

Last year, the district gave charters a total of $57 million.

The district also received hurricane reimbursements from the federal government and the county.

The county uses area schools as shelters during severe weather. As a result, the district has had to cover the costs associated with cleaning up after a storm, in addition to paying its staff to man the schools.

The board also adopted the millage rate, and Sarasota County homeowners can expect to see school property tax rates drop slightly to 6.94 mills per $1,000 of taxable value.


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