Schools get small funding hike

Although the recently approved state education budget calls for an increase in per-pupil funding for K-12 and early childhood programs, local school officials say it will do little to help their districts.
Krystle Wagner
Jun 11, 2013

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.

Comments

ohreally

This is truly sad to me. Our schools are being funded at levels of 10+ years ago and yet the standards continue to increase, technology continues to become more prevalent and yet the governor and company think that the money just drops from the sky. It's sad that schools like Grand Haven and Spring Lake who have consistently provided A+ education for their students are finding themselves in situations where layoffs and deficits are more common themes. Something needs to be done.

Wingmaster

Unleash the economy...more jobs, more tax dollars without punishing anyone. What your seeing and feeling is the results of economics led by politicians that don't understand or care about priniciples of capitalism. Feel good economics, no one loses, we all lose! That's fair right? No need to be the best anymore, just let the government even it up for everybody.

This is all by design. Make everybody miserable so the only solution is to turn to government...BIG government to fix.
We voted our way into this mess, we can vote our way out.

bigdeal

Unfortunately, what you gripe about has little to do with our elected officials. It has everything to do with the attitude of people. This is something very hard to change. Personally, I have relation I despise sucking off the teat of big government, haven't make a house payment in 3 years (still in the house!??), don't work (don't want to) and they have taught their daughter to do the same...have babies out of wedlock while living w/baby-daddy but lying about it to get food stamps, housing, utilities paid for, doctor visits paid for, transportation, free food assistance, military assistance, and the freaking list goes on. The laws actually penalize you for being married now, so why do it? People's attitudes are the cause, not politicians. Today the question of the ME ME ME Generation is "what's in it for ME?"

Wingmaster

You are right on much of what you say but not all are "me, me's" in the generation.
There is something that can be done and it's simply calling and reporting said abuses. I know blood is thicker than water but d/\mnit we need to call out the slackers in society and make it difficult for them to get away with it.
Brave of you to mention the slackers in the family here. I do believe most of us have one in our families in this day an age. Lest we start doing something constructive to fix it, we are just part of said problem.

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