Budget Cuts for Ishpeming Schools

Budget cuts continue to be a necessity for public school districts across the area, including Ishpeming.

Last night, the district made some cost-cutting decisions, including the early winter closure of Phelps Middle School.

The Ishpeming School Board unanimously voted to close it by the winter holiday break.

The district was already preparing to close Phelps at the end of the school year.

But closing it during the winter break will save the district an additional 200 thousand dollars in operating costs this year.

Currently, the school district is facing a $500,000 deficit.

And with heat from the state Department of Education to do something immediately about the deficit, the board members believed this was the best option.

In other action, the school board also decided to privatize custodial services at the high school and Birchview Elementary.

The decision will save the district about $85,000 but will eliminate 4 jobs.

Because of that decision, the Michigan Education Association plans to file unfair labor practice and state open meetings act violation charges against the school board.