Wary districts eye possible proration

UTICA, Mich. - Utica Community Schools has announced a freeze on all nonessential spending in view of a possible state aid proration in 2009, according to the Advisor & Source, while media reports in other Michigan communities show similar wariness among school boards.

Utica Superintendent Christine Johns announced the freeze Nov. 24, citing a report that state aid could be cut by $100 to $200 per student during the current fiscal year, the Advisor & Source reported. A $100 cut would cost Utica about $2.8 million.

Similarly, Tecumseh Board of Education members were told recently that the Michigan School Business Officials association has projected a cut of $50 to $75 per student, which would cost Tecumseh about $160,000, according to the Tecumseh Herald. Final figures will be determined after the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference in January, the Herald reported.

Cass City Board of Education members approved trimming $109,300 from the current budget, including five staff jobs, in an effort to maintain fund balance, according to The Huron Daily Tribune.

Superintendent Ron Wilson called a $75-per-student proration "a distinct possibility," which would cost the district nearly $98,000, according to The Tribune.

The Advisor & Source, "Utica Community Schools announces spending freeze," Nov. 30, 2008

The Tecumseh Herald, "State aid projections for schools show drop," Nov. 26, 2008

The Huron Daily Tribune, "CC to lay off five staff, but no teachers," Nov. 25, 2008

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