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Covid 19

Northern Michigan School Districts Prepare for Cut to Per Pupil Funding

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The state of Michigan is facing a major revenue decline because of the coronavirus.

Schools could see a painful reduction in per pupil funding.

Traverse City Senator Wayne Schmidt says that cut may be as high as $2,000 a student.

He says lawmakers will have a better idea of how big that cut may be come Friday.

Chippewa Hills Superintendent Dr. Bob Grover says his district has three budget plans they’re looking at right now.

“It’s $350 per student reduction, a $700 student reduction and a $1,000 student reduction. We also looked at losing some potential students, 50, 75 and 100 within those scenarios, and try to figure out where we’re sitting when it comes to our fund balance and our situation when it comes to staffing,” said Grover.

Mount Pleasant Public Schools also has a trio of budgets put together.

“I think the advantage we have right now is that we know there is going to be a reduction, we can plan for that. The level is what we don’t know so that does make it a challenge. The biggest challenge for school districts is that a significant portion of our budget is spent on salaries and benefits,” said Superintendent Jennifer Verleger.

That means schools will face difficult financial decisions in the coming months, along with planning how to safely bring students back to the classroom.

“When you start having huge cuts like we heard Senator Schmidt mention in his article, that’s a huge devastation that’s going to impact people and anytime you do that, that’s going to have an educational impact learning ability of our students,” said Grover.

Schools must have their budgets finalized by June 30th.

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