Investment Pool Ripples

TAMPA -

The board that oversees Florida's Local Government Investment pool appointed former Comptroller Bob Milligan as interim executive director.

The instability of that fund has put some school districts and community colleges in a financial bind. And that had the Florida Board of Education asking questions as members met in Tampa.

Board member Akshay Desai first wanted to know if the state department of education had any money in the investment pool.

Assured that it did not, he then asked about local school districts and community colleges with money still in the fund.

'Are we going to have the contingency plan so our districts are working smoothly, the teachers get paid, the students get taken care of and the lights are on in the schools,' Desai asked.

Newly appointed Education Commissioner Eric Smith explained that officials from the department are in daily contact with the districts. And he is exploring if the state can offer flexibility for districts in use of funds to cover shortages over next six months.

School districts are worried about limits on how much they are allowed to withdraw from the local investment pool without paying fees. Many use the fund as a money-market account on a short term basis before paying bills.

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