ADRIAN, Mich. — Adrian Public Schools hopes to close an anticipated $5.2 million budget gap in 2011-2012 with $1.4 million in reserve funds and $2.5 million in position, pay and benefit cuts, according to The (Adrian) Daily Telegram.

The district plans to cut 12 positions and to ask all employees to take a 5 percent pay cut and contribute more toward health insurance, a plan that will have to be negotiated with employee unions, The Telegram reported. The proposed budget also counts on eliminating all automatic “step” salary increases in 2011-2012.

The contract between the district and the Adrian Education Association will expire at the end of the school year, The Telegram reported. Rather than allowing the terms of that contract to remain in force until a new pact is signed, the school board has voted to allow it to expire, The Telegram reported.

That move has angered some teachers, who told board members at a recent meeting that they need reassurance on their salary and health insurance, according to The Telegram.

Trustee Cullen Brown said that he understood teachers’ complaints, but that economic issues are affecting the private sector as well, The Telegram reported. He said that he and the other employees at his business haven’t had raises in six years, but have paid more for health insurance, The Telegram reported. Being asked to contribute more is “happening everywhere,” Cullen said, according to The Telegram.

Adrian’s budget plan depends on whether the district successfully qualifies for an additional $100 per student in state funding that only goes to schools that demonstrate “best practices,” The Telegram reported.  If it does not qualify, then another $300,000 will have to be made up in the budget, The Telegram reported.

The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Proposed Adrian budget uses two-thirds of reserve funds,” June 7, 2011

Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Automatic Pay Raises for Teachers with No Union Contract in Linden Schools,” June 7, 2011