Districts adjust programs, staff

ADRIAN, Mich. - Media reports from around the state indicate that school districts anticipate closing buildings, laying off staff, restructuring programs and using fund balance dollars to cover costs in 2009-2010.

In Adrian Public Schools, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram reported, the district will draw about $300,000 from its fund balance to cover spending. State budget reductions and declining enrollment have reduced district revenue, which was offset somewhat by the sale of the school bus fleet and lower-than-expected reductions in state categorical funding, according to The Telegram.

While Adrian cannot lay off teachers midyear due to prohibitive contract language, The Telegram reported, Byron Center Public Schools will reduce its teaching staff by 12 positions next semester by eliminating team teaching and block scheduling, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

In Midland Public Schools, the school board is expected to decide next week which elementary buildings to close as part of a districtwide consolidation, according to The Saginaw News. A committee has recommended closing either four or five elementary schools this year and a middle school in 2010-2011, The News reported.

The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, "Adrian school officials: District faces deficit, but layoffs are not imminent," Dec. 8, 2009

The Grand Rapids Press, "Byron Center school board approves laying off 12 teachers, eliminate team teaching, block scheduling," Dec. 8, 2009

The Saginaw News, "Midland school board hears options on school closures," Nov. 24, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "10,000 Teacher Layoffs? Let's Try Zero Instead," Oct. 5, 2009