Local school district laying off teachers - WNEM TV 5

Local school district laying off teachers

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

A local school district is making cuts as it attempts to balance its budget.

Midland schools is getting rid of a dozen teaching positions.

"Midland is supposed to be one of the better districts. One of the really nice places to grow up and raise your kids. With all of the cuts, I just don't know what I'm going to do," Nicholas Ratajczak said.

He worries about whether the school district he graduated from nearly a decade ago will be better off when his child gets ready for daily homework assignments.

"When I was in school we had everything we needed computers, dry-erase boards, everything," Ratajczak said.

But times have changed in the Midland district.

"Now I wonder what the future holds for my son," he said.

Many school districts across Michigan are trying to provide the same services while receiving less money from the state to do it with. Administrators said it's because of declining student populations.

Midland public school's student population had more than 10,000 10 years ago. Now there are less than 8,000 students enrolled.

Michael Sharrow, Midland's superintendent, said a long term drop in student enrollment could have damaging effects.

In 2009 the district received $6,226 per student. Now the number stands at $5,432 per student.  

At this point we're a donor district. We give more money to Lansing than we get back and that's disturbing to us," Sharrow said.

The superintendent said he is just trying to stop the bleeding.

"We're just relying on retention and not filling the positions of the teachers that have left," he said. 

Midland is still vowing to provide a quality education to its students. For now that's okay with Ratajczak who remains hopeful for his kid's future. 

Current teachers will also take a 2 percent pay cut.

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