The Gwinn school board, and the superintendent, are upset about the district’s budget situation — especially because they say there’s very little they can do about it.
They say the big issue is a state policy that former Governor Jennifer Granholm initiated — the transfer of several hundred million dollars of surplus money from the state school aid fund to the state general fund to be used for higher education.
Governor Rick Snyder has continued that policy.
Superintendent Mike Maino says without that transfer, the school aid fund would have enough money in it to help out most districts, themselves included.
Maino is sending letters to Governor Snyder, and everyone in the legislature, explaining the situation.
Parents and school employees should be receiving the letter as well.
School board president Walter Maki says the more parents and other community members get involved, the more likely Lansing is to get the message that higher education funding shouldn’t come at the expense of K-12.
The district is looking at a $1.8 million dollar deficit for next year.
Even if it were to eliminate busing, athletics, school counselors and other necessary programs, the savings still wouldn’t be enough to get out of the hole.
The Gwinn schools have $2 million in cash reserves, which will help, but that’s just barely enough to get them through next year only.