Bloomfield Hills Sings the Blues

A recent rally at West Bloomfield High School was apparently arranged by "madder than hell" parents, who are responding to contacts from school employees requesting their support in opposing reductions to state funding. Since all school districts are experiencing cuts, it's rather surprising that such a rally would come from one of Michigan's most luxuriously funded districts.

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Although it is facing a larger overall cut, West Bloomfield's foundation allowance is still $2,000 more than most districts receive. In 2008, the district averaged $12,787 per student in total revenue, and based on this figure, the current cuts will be less than 4 percent of their budget.

Just down the road the Bloomfield Hills district not only has the 5th highest paid teachers in the state (which itself ranks near the top nationally in average teacher salary), it also had revenue of almost $18,000 per pupil in 2008 - $12,000 of which came from their foundation allowance, the highest in the state.

A resident from the nearby Center Line school district actually pitched a tent on the state Capitol's lawn to protest education cuts. Center Line has the 6th highest paid teachers in the state and a foundation allowance of more than $10,000 per student. The cuts it will see this year from the state are also less than 4 percent.

Royal Oak is another pricey district (expected 2009-2010 revenue is $13,676 per pupil) where certain residents are whining about modest school spending cuts. One said in a recent news report, "We're just going to have a shell of a school district if [school funding] doesn't get fixed." 

$13,676 per kid - that's some shell.