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Rough Week…

October 25, 2009

Well, last week is not one I will soon forget.  On Friday morning, I sent this message to Saline Area School staff:

Late Thursday afternoon, Gov. Granholm initiated the proration process for schools and raised the total reduction by another $127 per pupil to a net loss of $289 per student.  For Saline, this equals over $1.5 million in lost revenue for the current year.

Quite honestly, as the leader of this district, I am deeply troubled with some conversations I have begun to have regarding the steps we will need to take to offset this drastic loss in revenue.  We are considering options that include staff reductions across all areas, elimination of programs, reduction in services, and numerous other cost saving measures.  Sadly, this doesn’t even begin to address the structural deficit for the 2010-2011 school year that is only 8 months away.

Once again, I encourage all of you to be informed about the statewide issues related to public school funding.  In addition, in Washtenaw County, we have the opportunity to vote on a Countywide Enhancement Millage on Tuesday, November 3rd.  For more information about this critical proposal, click here.



I now know the exact number – $1,612,975.00.  Sadly, this number will grow even larger due to a slight decline in our enrollment.  It is also possible that there will be yet another proration as the collection of revenues have been consistently coming in below already deflated projections.  I know Saline Area Schools is in better shape than many, many districts – the drastic impact will be felt in communities across the state.

It is very clear, regardless of the outcome of the current Millage proposal, that local districts and the State of Michigan must develop more stable funding for public education.  This week along with Board President David Friese, I had the opportunity to hear State Superintendent Mike Flanagan speak to school board members and superintendents from around the State.  He noted that he sees a new three “R’s” for education.  “Revenue, Reductions and Reform,” he said, “that becomes the three legs of a stable future.”  Well, for me – a stable future can’t get here fast enough.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2009 10:32 pm

    Folks we need to stand up for the future of our children’s education. The folks in Lansing are going to keep cutting funding for education because they can’t solve their own political agendas. I know that we have supported a recent sinking fund that will be used for the repairs and upkeep of our schools, but this can not be used for the yearly budgets that the School Board comes up with and then is told you will be 1.5 million short 2-3 months into the school year. AND, next year will certainly be worse.

    While we can not control what Lansing chooses to fund for our children’s education, we do have some local control by voting for the Countywide Enhancement Millage. At least those funds, if approved can be counted upon for each years budget for the next few years while we wait for Michigan economy and government to stabilize.

  2. Diana permalink
    October 26, 2009 3:41 pm

    Saline residents have always supported our schools. In return, our schools have provided our children with a wonderful education and many opportunities for a successful future. As JC stated, “we cannot control how Lansing chooses to fund our children’s education”….however, we do have control over local funding. We need to act now to ensure our children’s future and provide them with a good foundation to build on. Please support Countywide Enhancement Millage.

  3. Matt permalink
    October 27, 2009 11:14 pm

    Mr. Graden,
    I can only imagine the stress this decision has brought upon you and your administration. Please keep up the hard work and remember that you have the support of the Saline Community!

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