MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — The emergency manager review team investigating Muskegon Heights Public Schools was told the district’s deficit reduction plan, which includes a 40 percent wage cut for employees, is not realistic, according to MLive. Glenda Rader, Michigan Department of Education’s deputy director of state aid and school finance, told the review team she had “serious reservations” that the plan could be approved.

According to MLive, the district’s deficit currently stands at about $9.4 million. Under the proposed plan the district would reduce spending by $3.2 million for the next two years and then by $3.5 million the third year with the goal of running a surplus by 2015. Officials running the district said that salary and benefit cuts would be needed since staffing costs make up about 80 percent of the school’s expenses, though they did acknowledge the proposed 40 percent cuts were “unrealistic.”

According to MLive, the district needs to have an approved deficit reduction plan in order to continue receiving state aid. Rader told the review team the district’s progress was unsatisfactory, with last year’s deficit at 48 percent of district revenue, up from 20 percent the previous year.

SOURCE:

MLive.com, “Emergency manager review team told Muskegon Heights school deficit plan unrealistic,” March 2, 2012

FURTHER READING:

Michigan Education Report, “Muskegon Heights privatizes some positions, saves $1.2 million,” Jan. 30, 2012

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