Schools Contemplate Next Moves

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

It's a lesson in math no one wanted.

"To me, this is horrific," says Eaton Rapids Superintendent Bill DeFrance.

DeFrance heard Friday his district, along with every other district in the state, will be down $165 a student this current school year. He'd already budgeted for a $125 per-pupil reduction. Who knew his worst case scenario would get worse yet?

"The number for me doesn't make a difference," DeFrance says. "It stinks that three-and-a-half months into the school year we're getting the bad news."

Even though Eaton Rapids did plan for a hefty reduction in per pupil funding, it simply wasn't enough. Now the superintendent says he has no other option than to make some changes to the district right away.

"Probably two to three jobs we'll have to eliminate before Christmas," he says.

"Last year in planning, we cut $2 million. Now we're going to go cut another half-million," says Charlotte Superintendent Nancy Hipskind.

Now with $500,000 in adjustments to make, Hipskind says she'll do her best to keep the cuts from the classroom-- but money is making that hard.

"You cannot maintain high quality programs when you continue to make those severe cuts," she says.

Hipskind says they'll look now at delaying text book and supply purchases, and could look to cut auxiliary staff.

Eaton Rapids is facing the same issues.

"It could impact support we provide for our kids, could impact operations we provide... custodial, food services, aides," DeFrance says.

Making this year, DeFrance says, the most challenging he's ever seen.

Lansing Schools spokesman Steve Serkaian says that district did not budget for any sort of increase or decrease in per pupil funding, and now they are down $2.3 million.

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  • by mary Location: mi on Oct 11, 2009 at 08:29 PM
    The governor, and elected officials should hang their head in shame for what they have "to" NOT "for" the people of michigan , and our children..GOD help us to vote these people out of office !!!!!!!
  • by bill Location: michigan on Oct 10, 2009 at 12:57 PM
    everyone of us needs look at how our schools spend the money they get it might suprise us what it's spent on , as far as the state budget woes add a tax on food
  • by Anonymous on Oct 10, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    Amen, Mike! You notice that their pay isn't being cut. If they are so concerned about the budget, take a cut instead of handing out cuts!
  • by mike Location: charlotte on Oct 9, 2009 at 06:39 PM
    this really sickens me how they can keep making cuts to the school systems, it happens every year, I don't understand how anyone can be ok with this, it is so obvious our elected officials are not doing the job they should be doing, they are not bettering this state when there making cuts to our school systems, it should not be an option when trying to balance our budget, there jobs should be the option before our childrens education.
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