Budget woes improving

For the first time in nearly four years, the Grand Haven school district isn’t projected to see a budget shortfall.
Krystle Wagner
Jun 4, 2014


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.



Thats funny, this comes after a vote for passage of mileage proposal,s


it's not funny at all...


A school district's operating budget is largely divorced from its capital expenses budget. The first is funded by state per-pupil allocations and a low-rate property tax. The second is funded entirely by local communities through property-tax adjustments.

The operating budget pays for salaries, electricity, photocopies, textbooks, computer networking, and all the other things required to keep a district running. Capital expenses pay for large-expense purchases (school bus replacements, district-wide technology initiatives, etc.), new buildings, or upgrades to the existing physical structures. By law, most of the things in the second category cannot be paid for out of a district's operating budget, and a district cannot use a millage to pay for new teachers. Such are the whims of post-Proposal-A education funding.

So, the fact that the district managed to balance the OPERATING budget for next year is not necessarily linked to the bond issues that just passed. As to those saying the district makes no sacrifices, notice that the balancing was achieved with a very small increase in per-pupil funding that still does not keep up with inflation, by taking advantage of retirements, and by further tightening of individual building budgets for office supplies (which are a necessity in the teaching world).

Harry Kovaire

Unfortunately, my budget woes are worsening. I'm spending a few hundred more bucks in property tax, along with increased taxes for healthcare and gasoline. Of course, electricity rates will "necessarily skyrocket" with the new EPA rules.

The American dream didn't die, it was murdered.


But I am happy that the school bureaucracy continues to thrive without sacrifice.


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