Schools To Face Further Cuts

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

Stanley Kogut is worried that the cuts to his program are running too high.

"Because of some of the deficits we were going to face, we knew we needed to cut $3.3 million," said Kogut, the superintendent of the Ingham County Intermediate School District, which oversees many of the area's alternative-education program. "That impacted programs in our special ed, general ed, and our career service programs."

Kogut says he cut 20 percent from the district's budget over the summer. The message he's receiving now? That won't be enough.

"Deep down, what's happening in the state of Michigan is, the projections that were used to determine what would be in the school aid fund have come in far less," said William Mayes, director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

More specifically, the state could face a $300 million shortfall in the school aid fund.

Here's how.

-Lawmakers cut $100 million in the education budget already signed into law.

-Michigan has fallen almost $130 million short of tax revenue expectations.

-And the state isn't get a $75 million carry-over it expected from last year's budget.

So what does that mean for our schools?

"It means, come February, we'll probably have a pro rata cut of another hundred dollars," Mayes said.

He added those cuts -- which could total more than $250 per student -- spell substantial losses for athletics and after-school programs. The effect on the state?

"Programs that were held together by string and wax will be cut. Everything is on the line in some districts," Mayes said.

His solution? Same as the one suggested by Governor Jennifer Granholm, and superintendent Kogut.

"When you start cutting to the point where it's hurting kids so bad that they're not going to be able to grow, then we have to figure out some types of revenues."


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