Byline: LIZ BABIARZ and MARKESHIA RICKS STAFF WRITERS
SARASOTA COUNTY -- The cost to run Sarasota County schools over the next year is expected to increase 9 percent to more than $409 million, despite staff cutbacks and a slowdown in student enrollment.
Superintendent Gary Norris says the budget reflects the promises made to taxpayers who approved a 1 mill property tax for schools in March.
Today he will present to School Board members the proposed operating budget and a $235 million capital spending plan for construction.
But getting the School Board to approve the budget is shaping up to be a tougher job than in previous years.
At least four board members are questioning whether the school district is exercising enough fiscal restraint.
They don't think Norris has done a good enough job explaining how the district ended up laying off people after the school tax was approved.
And they're uneasy that millions of dollars from the …