Grand Ledge eyes spending cuts

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. - Responding to potential state aid cuts, Grand Ledge Public Schools administrators have proposed closing two elementary buildings, eliminating 53 positions, ending high school bus service, downsizing sports and band programs and seeking $558,000 in employee concessions, according to WILX-TV.

The proposal would reduce expenses by about $4 million, the report said. Without spending reductions, the district could overspend revenues by $5 million in 2010-2011, depending on enrollment and future per-pupil funding, according to WILX-TV.

The school aid budget adopted by the Michigan Legislature in October called for a $165-per-student reduction, the report said. However, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said she intends to reduce funding by an additional $127 per student as of December, through a school pro-ration.

Superintendent Steve Matthews said that the district would eliminate such positions as the communications officer and director of technology, WILX reported. In addition to negotiating for about half a million in employee concessions, the district could save $600,000 by ending its early retirement incentive program, the report said. Closing two buildings would save on energy expenses, and eliminating high school transportation could save another $500,000, according to WILX.

WILX-TV, "Grand Ledge Schools Rolls Out Plan for Big Cuts Due to Restructuring," Nov. 3, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Teacher Salaries Need a Closer Look for Michigan to Balance the Budget," Oct. 2, 2009