LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. - Still not sure of their 2009-2010 state funding levels, some public school administrators are sounding the alarm about a potential $500-per-pupil reduction by 2010-2011, according to media reports.

Declining revenue from the state sales and income taxes will create a shortfall in the school aid fund, Superintendent Scott Menzel of the Livingston Educational Service Agency said recently, according to the (Livingston County) Daily Press & Argus. While federal stimulus funds can fill some holes in 2009-2010, that money will not be available the following year.

"This is a serious concern for our local schools," Menzel said, according to the Press & Argus.

Wayne-Westland Schools Superintendent Greg Baracy told his school board that he anticipates no additional per-pupil funding in 2009-2010 and a possible reduction in categorical funding, according to the Farmington Observer. The following year will be worse, he said.

"The only way out is going to have to be cutbacks and revenue enhancements," Baracy said, according to the Observer.

Jay Wortley, senior economist for the state Senate Fiscal Agency, told the Press & Argus that the state could recover somewhat during August and September.

"Almost everything's down from a year ago, but we expected things to be down from a year ago. It's just that it's down from what we expected," he said. "You really can't tell what impact it's going to have at this point of time. Keep your fingers crossed."

Pinckney Community Schools Superintendent Dan Danosky told the Press & Argus that his district has stopped trying to predict state funding.

"We have stopped speculating because we've spent so much time worrying about what the state's going to do," Danosky said.

SOURCES:
(Livingston County) Daily Press & Argus, "Plunging state tax revenues spook schools," Aug. 13, 2009

Farmington Observer, "Districts wait, wonder about school bill," Aug. 13, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Michigan School Money Primer," May 30, 2007

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