TCAPS Board Members Vote on $1 Million Budget, Curriculum Changes

Traverse City Area Public Schools board members had a difficult decision to make on Monday as they voted on the budget proposal for the next school year.

The budget has several big changes and cuts to elementary and middle school programs

This proposal comes after several months of careful consideration and input from the board, parents and staff.

TCAPS had to trim $1 million from their budget.

On Monday night, the school board approved the 2017-2018 budget plan, cuts and all.

TCAPS administration center was filled with concerned teachers and parents as the board prepared to make a difficult decision.

 “It’s tremendously difficult, no one likes cutting programs,” said Erik Falconer, president of the TCAPS Board of Education.

The now-approved budget will eliminate world language for elementary students, which will save the school almost $400,000.

“The idea was that while the program, we value language and think it’s important, it really wasn’t getting the bang for the buck that it could,” said Christine Guitar, director of marketing and communications for TCAPS. “It really needs to be taught more and at the level it was being taught while valuable, it had a cost that was pretty high for the district."

Another change, the International Baccalaureate programs at both middle schools will be phased out.

“It’s also a lot of the things that we do in our classroom anyway. We would teach kids to be global thinkers, we would teach kids to think from an inquiry perspective," said Guitar.

Some parents have spoken out to oppose the cuts, but ultimately TCAPS administration and board members don’t want to think of these as cuts, but as a relocation of resources.

“We always want to do a better job but the reality is when we have limited resources, it’s important that we focus them in the areas that benefit all of our students and focus on student achievement,” said Falconer.

“As much as we would love to be all things to all people, at a certain point, we have to be fiscally responsible and also be responsible with what we ask our schools to do," said Guitar.

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