GH Schools face $3M deficit

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:30 PM

As a result of on-going state funding reductions, GHAPS Superintendent Keith Konarska said the district is facing a $3 million deficit for the 2013-14 school year.


The board of education held a work session this week to review budget parameters for next school year. The information detailed approximately $81 in proposed per pupil funding reductions for this coming year, in addition to the $470 foundation allowance reduction implemented last school year.


"Over the past several years, we have been able to keep our staff employed and programs intact due to the cooperation of our employees to make contract concessions, reduce expenditures, and identify alternative revenue sources," Konarska said. "However, when the state continues to reduce funding, now at pre-2005 levels, and all but require program expansion without additional funds, we are forced to make extremely difficult decisions."


The board was asked to consider a combination approach to balancing the budget. This would include using $1 million of the district's fund balance, and making an additional $2 million in efficiencies, which will include staff reductions.


"Although we will do all we can to minimize program impact, the three funding proposals currently being discussed in Lansing makes it unlikely," Konarska added.


School Board President Chris Houghtaling also voiced frustration at the current circumstances.


"It is unfortunate that the state of Michigan has put us in this position by not adequately funding K-12 schools," Houghtaling said. "The state has the resources to restore our foundation allowance, however they refuse to do so."


In the coming weeks, Konarska will meet with employees and parents to answer questions and provide updated information.


"We have some challenging decisions to make," Houghtaling said. "I encourage our community to contact their legislators to voice their concern."

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