School district facing $2.3M deficit - WNEM TV 5

School district facing $2.3M deficit

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MT. MORRIS, MI (WNEM) -

Some difficult decisions are on the horizon for a school district facing a huge deficit.

"It's tough. You have sleepless nights," said Dr. Josha Talison.

$2.3 million dollars: that's what keeps Beecher Schools Superintendent Talison up at night.

It's the amount of money the district is in the red.

And now they have to make some difficult cuts.

"We had a charge by the state of Michigan to cut about $700,000 by June 30. So this is just the first phase," Talison said.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the board voted to slash both hours and pay for various positions in the district, like the special education director and mail clerk.

A previous plan to outsource custodial positions was called off after union bargainers found a way to cut costs out of the current contracts for custodians and bus drivers.

"The board had promised that if we could do that, that they would not outsource," said Bruce Jordan, union liaison.

Not only will those cuts be made, but the superintendent himself and others will also shed 1 percent of their pay.

Talison said the goal was to have the least impact on students as possible.

"None of the cuts impacted the classroom at all. So, these are all outside the classroom. Our primary concern is making sure our schools have a dynamic learning experience," Talison said.

How did the school district end up with that deficit? Talison said an accounting error was to blame for $1.8 million, but that issue is currently being mediated.

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