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Schools get small funding hike

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Community colleges and universities will receive about 2 percent more funding in the new budget. The state's K-12 schools will see a 3 percent increase, including some money toward retirement costs.

The slight increase will provide Spring Lake Public Schools with about $90 more per student. Fruitport Community Schools will see an additional $60 per student. Grand Haven Area Public Schools will receive an extra $16 per student.

Present per-student funding is comparable to 2005-06 levels, but districts have needed to make cuts to offset rising costs.

Grand Haven Superintendent Keith Konarska said school programs look different than they did seven or eight years ago because of expanded programming, increased requirements and unfunded mandates.

“We designed programs with an understanding that, minimally, schools would be maintained at the levels of revenues in place at that time,” he said. “Unfortunately, the rules of the funding game changed, but our production has not slowed down.”

While the additional state funding provides a small boost, local districts will still be looking at deficits this fall.

The Grand Haven school district faces a $3 million deficit for the upcoming school year. Officials have said that will result in staff reductions.

Although Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak said his district is moving forward without staff or programming reductions for the 2013-14 school year, they will make a major reduction to their fund balance to balance the budget.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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