Evart Public Schools to lose $700,000 in funding

EVART — With the actual, final level of state financial support for local school districts still a big unknown, education administrators are scrambling to figure out what to do based on the accounting suggested by Gov. Rick Snyder in his budget proposal.

Cuts to local districts will be substantial — even crushing according to some.

If the governor’s budget is passed “as is” it will involve a $470 cut in per pupil funding. This figure — together with other proposed cuts — will soar to a total loss in funding of some $700 per student. The loss in revenues will be compounded by other reductions in both state and federal programs, and the failure of the ISD millage which would have generated a much needed revenue flow to local district operations.

School budgets are going to be stunningly reduced.

School budget planners are almost in a state of shock.

“Administrators in our district have been holding quite a few meetings and simply tossing everything out on the table,” reported Evart Public Schools superintendent Howard Hyde.

“It’s amazing. We actually are hearing ideas that have never been brought up before this time.

“Frankly, the situation is sickening. It makes me physically sick to my stomach.

“While the final budget is not approved yet, I can only work on figures that are out there, and I’m losing a lot of sleep at night.

“Whatever happens, there are going to be drastic budget cuts that devastate public education around this state.”

Just in basic cuts, the Evart school district stands to lose some $700,000 in state funding — and that’s just for starters.

Planners don’t know how the district t will absorb such a loss.

“We’re looking at all sort of ideas - from reduced busing to employee layoffs,” reported Hyde.

“There will be budget cuts across the board in this district, but some of them will probably hurt a lot more than others.

“At this time, we’re still talking and not yet acting. We need to be careful and make sure that we do whatever needs to be done in the best way possible.

“Still, we need to be making some decisions as fast as we can.

“This whole situation is painful. Very, very painful.

“This is the worst situation public education has been in since I began work.”

Hyde said he believed local legislators must know what this budget slashing will do to public schools throughout their districts.

“They’re smart guys,” he said. “They have to know just what this is going to do to our schools.

“And yet, there it is.

“This situation is disappointing and disheartening.”