Governor Proposes Cutting Schools

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

You don't have to be a math whiz to figure out how devastating $164 million dollars in cuts to K-12 education could be.

"That's a large number, and that's concerning," says Holt Superintendent Johnny Scott, PhD.

Scott heard Thursday of Governor Granholm's proposed $59-reduction in per pupil funding.

He says Holt would be down about $350,000 and would be left re-evaluating projects and personnel.

"Our personnel is 86 percent of our expenditures," Scott says. "We're going to monitor retirements, resignations, open positions we'll scrutinize as well."

In a district like Lansing, where they have 15,000 students, the funding loss would be even more staggering-- nearing $900,000.

K-12 accounts for nearly 25 percent of the overall budget cuts. It's an area the Governor has historically touted as "untouchable."

"Aat this point, we have no choice," says Governor Jennifer Granholm. "Personally I'm distressed we have to cut anything out of education."

But there could be a silver lining, coming in the form of a national stimulus package.

"We do expect and believe there will be an opportunity to add additional funds to education in K-12 once the President signs the compromise," Governor Granholm says.

Scott says teacher layoffs right now would not be on the table in Holt, and they'd avoid making cuts in the classroom- but Thursday's news makes him worrisome about the future.

"As we think about these cuts, we can't forget that the backbone of of country is public education," Scott says.

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