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Budget woes improving

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:35 PM

The Grand Haven Area Public Schools Board of Education recently looked at next year’s proposed $61.6 million balanced budget.

Lisa Danicek, the district’s director of business services, attributed the balancing act to 38 staff members retiring and a potential $17 increase in per-pupil funding from the state. As the Michigan Legislature has yet to finalize the state's budget, the district used the most conservative of three proposals being considered.

Danicek said Grand Haven administrators are optimistic they will maintain class sizes and avoid layoffs.

The discretionary budget — which pays for buildings, supply purchases, hiring substitute teachers and other items — would see a 10 percent funding cut. Last year, it received a 25 percent cut, Danicek said.

The board is expected to approve the 2014-15 school year budget later this month.

Superintendent Keith Konarska said they are proud to have a balanced budget, and it wouldn't be possible without the cooperation of staff and support groups' concessions in contracts.

School board Secretary Joanne Query said the sacrifices of staff and the community have not gone unnoticed by the board.

"It's been the sacrifice of many that allows us to be in the place we're in," she said.

The district will save a little more than $1 million as 22 teachers and 16 support staff retire. Assistant Superintendent of Human Services Scott Grimes said the district will fill 17-18 teacher positions and most of the support staff, but it will depend on fall enrollment numbers.

Danicek said the district is projected to see an increase of 25 students next year, bringing the district's enrollment to 6,205.

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

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