GRPS budget gets help from "rainy day" fund | Education
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- School board members Monday approved the district's budget for the next school year, which will include using half of Grand Rapids Public Schools' rainy day fund.
The district is facing a $9 million shortfall for the 2012-13 school year, due to declining enrollment, reduced state funding, and higher expenses -- health care costs, materials, etc.
To cover the shortfall, the board decided to: make $1 million in cuts the "central office" or administrative staff; eliminate 26 teachers and teaching staff members; and use $9 million from the district's rainy day fund.
Leaders call this a "transitional" budget to keep the district operating until they receive results of an audit and a more complete, long-term operating plan is unveiled by superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal in October.
"I was asked yesterday how is the district doing, and we passed this budget with all of us grappling together trying to come up with the best solutions," says board member Dr. Tony Baker.
One area where the district is "investing" money is in arts and music at the elementary level, including hiring 11 new teachers.