Schools may not see funding increase - WNEM TV 5

Schools may not see funding increase

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The governor said more funding could be coming for local schools, but that might not be the case.

The plan to add $60 to $120 in funding per student next year could be a pipe dream. It's disappointing news for school districts looking forward to the money.

"It's disturbing. You know, I think that in the state of Michigan we need to make K-12 public education a top priority," said Don Killingbeck, superintendent for Hemlock schools.

Losing additional state funding is not part of Killingbeck's lesson plan. This week the state treasury department announced state revenues are projected to fall short of expectations.

Killingbeck hopes Lansing figures out a way to leave that additional money pet student. That would be about $140,000 for Hemlock.

"That's a couple of teachers. That's a custodian. That's bus drivers. That's real people that make a difference in kids lives every day," he said.

Not every superintendent feels the same way as Killingbeck does.

"We feel confident the lawmakers will make sure schools will get a fair amount of money in whatever budget they put together," said Matt Cairy, superintendent for Freeland schools.

Cairy said his district's budget isn't finalized until June. So they will be ready to make corrections if the state money is less than expected. He acknowledges cuts might be made if the extra funding for pupil isn't there. He's reasonably confident those cuts won't happen.

"As the Senate, the House and the governor all put out their draft budgets, all of them made education a priority. I see no reason why that wouldn't occur as they're putting the budget together in final," Cairy said.

Any adjustments made to the final budget will be hammered out by the governor and legislature. Until then, schools play the waiting game to see if that $60 to $120 per pupil will happen.

"That's at a minimum of what schools need to survive and to thrive we need much more," Killingbeck said.

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