TCAPS board approves $500,000 budget cut, eliminates language program

TCAPS makes cuts, including elementary world language program.

(WPBN/WGTU) -- Traverse City Board of Education members approved half a million dollars in budget cuts at Monday night's meeting. The move comes after months of meetings and public comment and study sessions. '

The Board approved eliminating the elementary foreign language program. Currently, students in kindergarten through fifth grade are offered 30-minute Spanish classes twice a week. With the cut in funding, that class time will most likely be replaced with health and physical education.

The Board also accepted the recommendation to phase out the International Baccalaureate program being offered through West Middle School. Students currently enrolled in that program will be allowed to complete the curriculum but no new students will be allowed to enroll in it.

Those two cuts will reduce expenses for the district by about $400,000. The Board says district administration also agreed to take a $100,000 hit to its budget. In total, the moves made should save the district around half a million dollars in the 2017-2018 budget.

Sue Kelly, the vice president of the board says while moves like this are difficult they are in the best interest of the district moving forward. "Along with excellence of education being provided, " she says "we have to have a financial foundation for the entire district and for many years in the past we have been dipping into reserve funds." Kelly says these cuts, combined with an additional $500,000 in new revenue from programs like the International Exchange Students and Home Schooling, should allow the reserve funds to be untouched this year.

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