$700 and Counting
we'll be talking about some real money here.
Gov. Rick Snyder has challenged the state's 500 or so school
districts to find the money to replace the $470 per pupil slice he
proposed in his new budget. He believes there are employee concessions
just sitting out there ready to be squeezed.
"All the low hanging fruit has been picked and eaten," counters
David Martell who runs the association of bean counters who work in the
"My membership is stunned," he reports because the actual cut is
closer to $700 not $470.
Due to a $230 increase in the retirement costs districts must
cough up each year, you combine the two figures and you get to the $700
number which would be unprecedented.
Martell reports there are currently about 40 districts that are
flirting with no money in their rainy day funds known as fund equity.
If the $700 stands, and he hopes somehow it will not, that number could
skyrocket to about 160.
"We have a number of districts lined up at the cliff and some
are going over now, but a lot more will be going over, or closer to the
cliff if this goes through," he warns anybody who will listen.
Despite that figure the state school superintendent has
reassured nervous parents that no school will go into bankruptcy. They
must find a way to stay out of the red, he advises.
Easier said than done, the education lobby shouts back.
Lawmakers have the option to find ways to lower that $700
figure. But no one has proposed any at this read.