Charlevoix schools to face large budget cuts

Charlevoix Schools are looking at possibly cutting between $800,000 and $900,00

Charlevoix Schools are looking at cutting between $800,000 and $900,00, which means possible cuts across the board.

â??Every part of our school, we have to look at. But when 80 to 85% of your budget is staffing, that's where the majority of your budget cuts are probably going to have to come from,â??Charlevoix Schools Superintendent Bob Gendron said.

It's a task no superintendent wants to do, cut the budget. It effects staffing, athletics, and other areas in the district.

But Charlevoix's superintendent has no other option to make up for shrinking state funds and declining enrollment.

â??For eight to nine years there's been a continual declining enrollment for every student that you lose that $7,800 per pupil. You lose over that time, we lost the number of students and it's cost us millions of dollars,â?? Gendron said.

Gendron says there are a number of outside factors that also contributed to the deficit. For example, they lost 1$100,000 in a dried up stimulus program for special education courses.

Also, the better practices and standards program has decreased funding by nearly $50 per student for the coming year.

â??You know I think from the state level they look at it maybe as a bonus, but when you're looking at declining per-pupil funding in our foundation allowance each year we are looking at it as a big source of revenue,â?? Gendron said.

The better practices and standards program has also caused funding headaches for other districts in the region.

Boyne City says they are on target to lose $60,000 next year alone and Superintendent Peter Moss says schools received a memo this month saying next year they will get zero dollars per student.

â??Well we always knew that that was the type of money that could be pulled from out underneath us at anytime, however as you try to preserve programming and class-size and things like that you take every dollar you can get to make ends meet,â?? Moss said.

A representative from Governor Snyder's office tells 7&4 News the better practices and standards program was created to give schools a temporary boost.

But they did point out the Governor's new budget plan will help school budgets pay for pension programs.

Both superintendents tell 7&4 News that the plan only stops deficits from growing, it doesn't put money into schools pockets.