School Budget Concerns for This Fall

By the end of the month, Michigan school districts have to pass balanced budgets for this coming year.

U.P. districts have either already met the deadline, or they’re close.

But they’re very concerned about next year.

The Gwinn Area Schools are less than $25,000 away from balancing their books for the fall.

School districts across Michigan have been hamstrung by drastic budget cuts the last three years.

Gwinn has lost more than $1.2 million in state aid in that time.

Superintendent Mike Maino says Lansing’s budget projections for next year were off, leaving the state with a $500 million surplus in the school aid fund.

He says that would be enough money to avoid making the $265-per-student cut next year that the state asked for back in February.

The Gwinn school board is meeting right now.

It’s concerned about an idea that some state lawmakers, and Governor Jennifer Granholm, support.

Maino says the state’s general fund has a shortfall this year, and the idea has been to shift the surplus from the education fund into the general fund.

Maino says if that happens, the $265-per-student cut for next year will come back, and he doesn’t think it’ll be possible to keep all the district’s current teachers working.

There’s a lot of electrical work going on at Gwinn High School, and it’s part of a cost-cutting move the district is working on.

We’ll have a look at that tomorrow night on ABC 10 News Now.

The NICE Community School Board in Ishpeming Township is also meeting right now about their budget, and we’ll have more about that tonight at 10 and 11.