Oakland: Property decline means cuts

WATERFORD, Mich. - Oakland Schools will eliminate 86 positions, freeze wages and require nonunion employees to take five unpaid furlough days in response to predictions of a 24 percent drop in revenue by 2013, according to The Oakland Press.

The intermediate school district relies primarily on property taxes for funding, but property values in the area have declined, The Press reported. Deputy Superintendent of Finance Bob Moore projected a drop of more than $53 million from the current revenue level of $228.3 million in the next four years, according to The Press, but local school districts, faced with budget problems of their own, are requesting more services.

The district has about 378 nonunion and 168 union employees, The Press reported. Nonunion employees will face a two-year wage freeze. Union employees will be asked to accept similar reductions during contract negotiations, the report said.

The board decided earlier to reduce its fund balance from 10 percent of the budget to 5 percent, the report said.

The Oakland Press, "Oakland Schools looks at layoffs, furloughs," Sept. 10, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Perfect Storm: Batten Down the Hatches or Drown," July 6, 2009