Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Keith Konarska said the district has worked to reduce program costs wherever possible, while also seeking other income sources without having to eliminate programs.
Konarska said they have been able to maintain program offerings for the most part, but they have asked each program to work at reducing costs to offset the funding reduction.
This year, program reductions in the Grand Haven school district exceeded $500,000.
“We have worked hard to keep reductions away from the classroom programs, but are seeing gradual increases in class sizes as a result of not always replacing retired teachers,” Konarska said.
On Sept. 21, the Julia Houle Fund will host a golf outing at the Grand Haven Golf Club to raise money for the Lakeshore Middle School Science Olympiad team. The program has previously received some funding from the district’s general account budget, but last year its funding was cut in half.
The Science Olympiad program sets aside money each year to cover costs of attending tournaments, but this year’s trip might provide more of a challenge, said Michael Reed, head coach of the Grand Haven High School team. If Grand Haven’s Science Olympiad teams make it to the national level, they will travel to Florida, which will cost more than last year’s national tournament trip to Ohio.
Reed said students pay a fee to participate and they receive contributions from the community. They held a fundraiser last year to help cover expenses.
“For any coach, fundraising has become part of the job now,” he said.
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