As if lagging revenues and soaring costs weren't enough, many Michigan public school districts have another problem on the horizon - too few children.
The preschool population has fallen statewide in recent years.
The Census Bureau says all but seven of Michigan's 83 counties had a drop-off between 2000 and 2003. That means fewer pupils in the pipeline. Some districts, particularly in rural areas, already have a shortage.
Some public-school advocates say the decline illustrates a flaw in Michigan's education financing system, which distributes money based on enrollment.