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.

Where Should The Biggest Budget Cuts Come From?

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  • by teacher on Feb 15, 2009 at 03:33 PM
    Martin--my district has not given us more than 1% raises for the past 3 years. We will be asked to take a pay freeze--and we will be glad that is all, rather than layoffs and increased class sizes. You might also be interested to know that I spend more than 1% of my salary each year on supplies and materials for my classroom. I also pay over $300 per month for my health insurance. So in real dollars (cash in my pocket) I have already taken a pay cut.
  • by gala Location: jackson on Feb 15, 2009 at 07:55 AM
    Some things can be cut out at schools or the way things are done.This state is a mess with our presant government.We can't blame it all on what high gas prices did,or all on job loss.Things have went up in many areas in this state.Gov allowed it.Now that things are up,don't look for them to go down.Gov got them selves in many messes for many reasons.The blame is being throwed all over.Big ideas with no one thinking of the later on results.No matter who gets wacked the better off gov ones at the top will see to it they and their kind have the best.Money takes care of money and until that changes oh well.How can anyone budget when they've always had it so good.Look at all the foolish things gov spends money on and the price they pay for stuff from the white house on down.A 10$ item is just as good as that 100$ item,same thing just another price.To much foolish in some peoples minds.
  • by Rodney Location: Webberville on Feb 13, 2009 at 03:40 PM
    My wife has 30 yrs as a state employee (almost 2/3 of here adult life)and is now facing potential layoff. It seems to me there would be significant savings by offering early retirements to those in similar situations. The governor has always worried about a potential drop in quality of services by retiring experienced employees and hiring new and less experienced ones at lower pay. I can't imagine those services being any less effected by the cuts proposed in this new budget. Why not take the hit all at once and save money immediately. The wages of replacement employees would certainly be significantly greater savings than cut the pay of the current ones. Not to mention opening up numerous jobs to the jobless.
  • by Martin Saffell Location: Lansing, MI on Feb 13, 2009 at 09:35 AM
    Everyone complaining about cuts to government(public) schools should volunteer to have their state income tax rate increased. Schools can get rid of football, basketball, plays, and other non-essential activities to save taxpayers money. Also, since state workers are being asked to sacrifice their massive 1% pay increase, maybe the government school teachers can submit to pay freezes also.
  • by School Location: Hardknox on Feb 13, 2009 at 08:55 AM
    When I changed my lifestyle of eating I cut out the high calorie and fat; now I'm very healthy! The same process should be used on State Government; Leave education alone for God sake!
  • by cadd15yrs Location: Lansing on Feb 13, 2009 at 08:54 AM
    Jen- I also send my children to private schools and pay taxes to the public school system. So I am in total agreement with you.
  • by Brian Location: Hillsdale on Feb 13, 2009 at 08:28 AM
    Private schools are a problem. Look at the decline of enrollments. If you look at how many kids go to private schools in your county and add how much public schools lose out on their funding. It costs the shools less to use in bulk. Take away more students and raise operating costs. None will deny the fact those who send their children to private schools pay out the ying yang. Think how much better off the schools would be if that money went to public schools. The state is paying for operating costs of more schools now than ever. While it is unnecessary spending for the state it is also unnecessary for the general public in these tough economic times. No wonder why schools keep asking for more money from the taxpayers and the state keeps trying to cut funding.
  • by beverly Location: hudson on Feb 13, 2009 at 08:03 AM
    The next thing will be close this school and bus students to that school and cause over crowding.Then it will be dress your kids warm,heat is being turned down to save money.Then it will be 3 day weeks for kids with another yr added to their schooling.Then it will be any family making less than 30 Thousand please leave mich,as you are not rich enough to stay in this state.Proverty is going on every where in this state.It is getting worse,and jenn wants to cut programs more to the poor ones,disabled ones and students.No wonder kids don't want to stay in school.This state has gotten worse every yr since jenn has been in office.She knows it, many know it.But before the rich get cut or charged higher taxes she will cut thoes needing money most.Her pet,useless projects come first.Her high life style and certain others must not be bothered.She knew 10% pay cuts would not pass.Had to make herself look good.How stupid does she think we are to think she tried!all blow.
  • by jen Location: mi on Feb 13, 2009 at 06:46 AM
    Brain---I sent my kids to a private school, I had to pay for this. I also on top of paying the private school, paid taxes to the public school. Believe me the private schools are not the problem
  • by jan on Feb 13, 2009 at 06:37 AM
    Sam is right, it's not a sin to be poor, but it is a sin to be greedy.
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