Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recent Newspaper Articles Addressed by the Legislative Committee 4-4-10

At the last Legislative Committee meeting, we addressed some Grand Rapids Press articles.  Please find the links to these articles on the blog.
1.  The first set of articles had to do with the EGRPS fund balance.  One of the articles criticized the use of a fund balance, or a savings account, by school districts.  Assistant Superintendent of Business, Kevin Phillips, reported to us that the professional organization that he belongs to recommends a 15% fund balance to be used to buffer erratic state funding, to buffer budget cuts and to minimize the interest on loans taken out by school districts to pay for expenses incurred during the schoolistrict's fiscal year, beginning July 1st before the first State payment of School Aid funds around October 20 each year.

EGRPS is following these guidelines and is utilizing the fund balance during this school year and in the 2010/11 and the 2011/12 school years to soften the blow of severe budget cuts over a million dollars in deficits.  We will go from 15% to around 11% by the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year.

We then addressed the ongoing Press articles about EGRPS cutting the custodial staff.  Mr. Phillips explained that the Administration is looking carefully at bids that will save the district $500,000 (out of a $1.1 million expense in a $28 million budget) and keep the cuts out of the classroom. In fairness to the custodial staff, if they are able to cut their costs by $350,000, then the district will keep them on and forego the outsourcing of the services.

Your Legislative Committee Recommends Action!!

If we are concerned about budget cuts in the schools, we have to contact our elected representatives.

Representative Dave Hildenbrand (517) 373-0846

Senator Mark Jansen (517) 373-0797

Governor Jennifer Granholm (517) 335-7858

Dates to remember:

April 26 7pm School Board Meeting. The budget committee will publicly offer recommendations for cuts.

May 4 Vote!! For the Renewal of Nonhomestead property tax

June 7 5:30pm Budget Hearing. The budget for the 2010/11 school year will be proposed.

June 14 7pm School Board Meeting. The balanced budget will be adopted.