TCAPS Board Makes $6.1 Million In Cuts

It was standing room only tonight as Northern Michigan's largest school district cut millions from its budget. Since the summer, the board for Traverse City area Public Schools has been trying to figure out the most efficient places to make cuts, while impacting students the least. The district faces an $8.7 million deficit next year. Tonight, their goal was to cut just over $6 million. The ideas for the cuts have come from two groups — a budget advisory task force, and then an administrative team. Tonight the school board voted on each idea, item by item. Cuts include $3.2 million reductions to salary and benefits, merging Special Ed busing with the ISD to save $700,000, and increasing class sizes by half a student to save $500,000. The board also voted to eliminate up to 8 half days next year, and to cut Athletics by $75,000 as opposed to $100,000. Erika Waddell and photojournalist Justin DePrekel have the story.