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Just before the Sarasota County School Board voted unanimously on July 22 to adver- tise its millage rates and tentative budget for the 2015 fiscal year, board member Caroline Zucker summed up one big change over the past months. "This is the first time in a long time where we actually have not been choked by hav- ing to make decisions on cutting primary programs," she said. "It almost feels like I didn't do any work on this budget because I didn't have to think about what I was cutting this year. It's a relief." Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner explained that while the board members had sliced $124 million from the budget since 2007-08, as they reacted to the effects of the Great Recession, staff needed to trim only about $108,000 this year. The School Board will hold a public hearing on the tentative $706 million spending plan Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner offers comments to the School Board during the July 22 session. Photo by Rachel Hackney FAR FEWER CUTS A WEEK BEFORE THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THEIR TENTATIVE $706 MILLION BUDGET FOR THE 2015 FISCAL YEAR, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS REFLECT ON MORE ROBUST FINANCES It's been a long haul since I've been able to present a balanced budget. Al Weidner Deputy Chief Financial Officer Sarasota County Schools By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor

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