ISHPEMING — It was an emotional day at Ishpeming High School, the school library was filled with worried citizens prepared to voice their concerns.
Teachers, coaches, parents, and even students became public speakers for the full first hour of tonight’s meeting. And the reason why: the possibility of budget cuts, explained here by superintendent, Carrie Meyer.
“This budget needs some attention. We need to not only balance the budget, but we need to build up our fund balance. Just recently received a letter from the department of treasury that we are below the 5%, we’re ending this year with a two and a half percent.”
Last week, Meyer met with the finance committee of the board to look at possible recommendations for budget consideration. The last two years, the Ishpeming Public School system has run a deficit budget.
With the board getting into serious discussion about budget cuts, the bottom line, common denominator point made by the majority of the speakers was simple: find a way to avoid cuts that affect the students.
Ishpeming girls basketball coach, Ryan Reichel was emotional, saying, “I graduated from Westwood. I had no pride. (I) came here, someone said ‘welcome to the family’; ‘welcome home’. These people are all family here. They’re my family. And when you see them crying and hurt, it’s tough.”
Board member, Geno Maino responded saying, quote, “I hope you all realize how much we value how important you are to the school. We’re not going to cut anything tonight. We are looking for cuts, though. We have to get our balance back up.”