ROMEO, Mich. - Headed into contract negotiations, the Romeo school board has adopted a $50 million budget that counts on $2 million in employee wage or benefit concessions, The Macomb Daily reported.

The district cut $1 million each from instruction and operations and maintenance, closed an elementary school and offered employee buyouts, according to The Daily. The district has not laid off or cut staff at this point, the report said.

"We're not dipping into our fund equity," said board Trustee Jennifer White, according to The Daily. "Hopefully our unions will come up with concessions."

Concessions "don't necessarily have to be wages," said White, according to The Daily, but could be in the form of reduced benefits or a freeze on salary schedule increases.

The district has between $3 million and $4 million in fund equity, but anticipates needing it next year when state funding and property tax revenues are expected to decline significantly, The Daily reported.

SOURCE:
The Macomb Daily, "Romeo school passes budget, but wants concessions from employees," June 24, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Michigan school money primer," May 30, 2007

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, School District Collective Bargaining Agreements, "Agreement between the Romeo Community Schools Board of Education and the MEA-NEA Local 1, Romeo, 2007-2009"

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