OWOSSO, Mich. — Personnel expenditures account for 89 percent of the budget in Owosso Public Schools, so that’s where the district will look to resolve a projected $5 million deficit over the next two years, according to The (Owosso) Argus-Press.

The district must submit a deficit elimination plan to the state by Dec. 15, The Argus-Press reported. A draft plan calls for reducing salary costs 15 percent, reducing benefit costs 33 percent and decreasing costs in other areas by 5 percent, board trustee General Grant said, according to The Argus-Press.

Employee contracts expire on June 30, 2011, The Argus-Press reported.

The district expects to finish the 2010-2011 fiscal year in the red by about $600,000, while the projected deficit in 2011-2012 is $4.6 million, according to The Argus-Press.

“There’s a lot of ways to get it to 15 percent without necessarily whacking everybody’s wages by 15 percent,” Washington Elementary Principal Mark Erickson said regarding reducing salary costs, according to The Argus-Press.

The (Owosso) Argus-Press, “Owosso school board ponders big cuts to employee costs,” Dec. 9, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “School Funding Myths