Cadillac cuts Great Start

CADILLAC, Mich. – Cadillac Area Public Schools will essentially eliminate its Great Start Readiness Preschool Program as a way to reduce spending, though the district superintendent praised the program as effectively helping youngsters prepare for kindergarten, according to the Cadillac News.

Superintendent Paul Liabenow said the state is considering cutting funding for Great Start programs, which was a factor in the school board’s decision to lay off 17 staff members in that area, the News reported. The program previously enrolled 140 students.

The district is addressing $682,000 of overspending in its 2009-2010 budget, according to the News.

Liabenow said that anecdotal reports from teachers about the program were positive, but that the district anticipates the need for further cuts of up to $2.1 million by 2010-2011, given state funding projections, the News reported.

"There will be a dramatic change in public education if we can’t find ways to reduce costs or increase revenue," he said, according to the News.

Cadillac News, "Cuts mean loss of 17 employees for CAPS," July 15, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Don’t expect long-term gain from early education money," Aug. 15, 2007