Bridgeport-Spaulding School District facing budget woes - WNEM TV 5

Bridgeport-Spaulding School District facing budget woes

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BRIDGEPORT TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Bearcat pride is strong in the Bridgeport-Spaulding School District.

"They want the students to learn. They're really in for it, they go all out," said Zackary Castle, a Bridgeport freshman.

But like so many other districts in the state, it too is left to claw its way out of a deficit.

"It seems like every school, is in, they owe a deficit, and I don't understand," said Alitha Bridgewater, who has a son who is a freshman at the high school.

Superintendent Gloria Rubis told TV5 the district faces a $2.5-million deficit going into next year. This week, the Michigan Department of Education gave the district an April 14 deadline to submit a revised deficit elimination plan. It's a challenge that sounds all too familiar to Michell Jones Sr. and his son, who moved here after Buena Vista schools shut their doors last year.

"It's like where's the money at, where's it going?" asked Jones.

The superintendent told TV5 Bridgeport-Spaulding isn't even close to having to shut its doors.  She said she believes the drafted deficit elimination plan will be approved by the state, but between now and the April 14 deadline, there's a big hurdle to cross.

Administrators must meet with employee unions and negotiate contracts for next year and those will likely have to include concessions in order for the state to consider the district's proposal.

A scenario that may be easier said than done and one that concerns parents.

"How many more schools are going to have to close because of it?" asked Bridgewater.

If the district does not meet the state's deadline, the April state aid pay could be in jeopardy. 

TV5 reached out to unions Thursday night but did not hear back.

Count on TV5 as this story continues to develop.

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