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SL schools face shortfall

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:46 PM

The Spring Lake school board approved the layoffs for the 2013-14 school year on Monday night. The district also won’t fill 2.3 full-time-equivalent staff positions being vacated by retirement.

The Spring Lake district's chief financial officer, Scott Powers, said the school system will be faced with a $565,000 shortfall for the 2013-14 general fund.

Last year’s deficit was more than $700,000.

Powers said the district, like others in Michigan, is faced with difficult financial decisions as it creates a budget for the upcoming school year.

“At the heart of the matter is the effort to maintain programming for students in 2013-14 while operating with funding levels closer to 2006-07,” he said.

Spring Lake's total fund balance will start at more than $2.3 million on June 30 and is projected to fall to a little more than $1.8 million at the end of the next school year.

Superintendent Dennis Furton said there are about 30 paraprofessionals working throughout the district, and those being laid off will receive notification in the next day or two.

It’s the third year in a row the district has had to lay off some staff. If it wasn’t for the number of retiring staff members this year, the district would have faced more layoffs, Furton said.

The Spring Lake district isn't alone. The Associated Press reported 55 Michigan school districts are operating with deficits, and the number of districts facing a $1 million-plus shortfall is expected to increase from one a decade ago to 30 by the end of the next school year.

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

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