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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 Page 16 workshop. Finally, Weidner said, he realized noted, indicating the plan could be out at any Kovach was joking. time. "After all these years," board member Shirley Brown replied with a chuckle, "you've finally, finally listened to what Mr. Kovach requested and balanced our budget." If the Legislature designates new school funding for certain functions — as it did with teacher salary increases in the current fiscal year — the Sarasota district budget "would For years, Kovach has argued that the district change … completely," Weidner said. needed to stop dipping into its reserve fund Given the financial hardships many Florida to keep its budget in the black. school districts are facing, he continued, he "The one big unknown is what the governor and the Legislature will do," Weidner pointed out. The Governor's Office typically has released its budget by this time of year, he hoped that would not be the case. "School districts need to not have additional funding earmarked for specific purposes," he told the board members. School Board Chairwoman Jane Goodwin makes a point during the Jan. 21 workshop. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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