BRIGHTON, Mich. - Five of seven school board candidates in Brighton Area Schools would consider freezing or cutting teacher pay as one way to bring district spending in line with revenue, they told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.

A sixth candidate was opposed to pay cuts and a seventh declined comment, according to the Press & Argus.

Brighton is operating under a state-mandated deficit elimination plan to address a budget that overspends revenue by $4 million to $6 million, the report said. The state gave the district a $7.4 million loan in March after banks declined to do so, the Press & Argus reported.

The district recently negotiated concessions with teachers that are expected to save $1.2 million over two years, while also extending the contract until 2011. Several candidates told the Press & Argus that the district may need further concessions on pay or benefits, and some also suggested building consolidation and competitive bidding for health care.

But other candidates said that the district should keep the promises it makes to employees and another said the state should do more to equalize state aid across districts, a move that would raise the amount Brighton receives for each student, the Press & Argus reported.

The election is Nov. 3.

SOURCE:
Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, "Candidates study freezing, cutting pay of teachers," Oct. 14, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "Brighton teachers to pay more for insurance," Sept. 15, 2009

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