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February 16, 2009
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I really do not like to talk a lot about the budget.  It is not because I don’t care about the budget or that I don’t find the effective budgeting of resources to be an extremely important function of school leadership.  It is because I have seen the constant discussion of the budget distract from the educational mission of the district.  I have seen the fear and concern about possible expenditure reductions cause the community and staff to lose focus on our goal.

Well, I am going to talk about the budget for a minute. As many of you know from your own household budget and from the daily news accounts about the state and national budget crisis, the coming school year will be a difficult year.  Last week, Governor Granholm proposed her 2009-2010 State Budget.  It included a $59 per pupil reduction, which is Saline, means a $325,000 loss in funding over the current year.  This is in addition to other “categorical” cuts and an increase in the retirement costs.

There is still the question of what the Federal Stimulus Package will mean.  Much of the initial information indicated the funds would be based on “Title I” status, which means funds are targeted for “at-risk” students.   I have seen tentative figures for possible construction and Special Education programs.  Neither of which would alleviate the current budget issue.

What does this mean?  It means that the budgeting process for next year will be very challenging.  We will continue to focus our resources on our core mission of educating our students for the 21st century.

Assistant Superintendent Thomas Wall and I are hosting a Budget Information & Planning meeting on Thursday, February 19th at 7:00pm in the Union School Board Room.  This will be an opportunity for community members to learn more about the school budget for the 2008-2009 school year.  In addition, we will be sharing information regarding current projections and the planning process for the 2009-2010 school year.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 16, 2009 7:32 pm


    Sadly, for Michigan, this is likely to be the start of several years of austerity at all levels. We’ve lost our ability to locally control our budget through property taxation. Now, we have to live with the impact of that loss of local control. It’s critical that the available budget allocation from the State be prioritized into education first, support second. In the community, we look to you and the School Board to make the tough decisions regarding how the schools will operate within this budget framework.

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