NICE School Budget OK…For Now

The struggle to balance the budget has forced many Upper Peninsula school districts to prepare for the worst and hope for the best

Gwinn is one of those.

But after reviewing the upcoming year’s budget plans, the NICE school board in Ishpeming Township is confident the district will stay afloat.

They’re not planning any layoffs for next year.

Based on diminishing state funding and an increased retirement rate, costs for the district will rise more than $100,000 next year.

But after the board meeting last night, NICE Superintendent Mike Haynes says the district should be OK because of preparations it’s already made for this year.

The district will be able to offset the costs for the upcoming year by leveraging funds the district was expecting to spend this year but didn’t end up having to.

Four employees have decided to take the state’s retirement incentive.

One custodian position is having its hours reduced, and administration is being re-aligned.

But the district is investing nearly $30,000 in textbooks and re-hiring two of the four retiring employees to help out with other programs.

The budget is also based on stable enrollment.

The NICE Community Schools’ central office has more information on the budget plans for next year at Westwood High School.