Massive layoffs and program cuts coming if lawmakers don't help, says West Michigan superintendents

May 20, 2020

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With over one $1 billion less in the Michigan School Aid Fund than once projected, West Michigan superintendents are calling on lawmakers in Washington for help. 41 Superintendents of school districts in Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties make up the West Michigan Talent Triangle, a collective of West Michigan school leaders who “drive policy decisions that are focused on the best interests of students,” according to its website.

Most recently, economists at the Michigan Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference reported that with the economy in a recession, the Michigan School Aid Fund (SAF) would fall $1.3 billion short of previous projections.

Now the group of Superintendents say, without the help of State and Federal governments, devastating cuts are on the horizon to Michigan Public Schools.

Kevin Polston is the Superintendent of Godfrey-Lee Public Schools in Wyoming, Michigan. He says without help, public school districts like his are looking at eliminating a number of student programs, coupled with massive layoffs.

“And that is the biggest fear,” Polston said. “Some big decisions have to be made.”  

And the decision for the government to step in is getting some bi-partisan support. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader and Republican Mike Shirkey called on Congress to get involved and offer support to the states, while Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both Democrats, have also voiced their support.

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