The Kent County Education Association (KCEA) will once again be awarding student scholarships to deserving students, along with teacher and support staff awards to those exceptional individuals who make a difference in the education community. For the past 26 years, the KCEA has sponsored the “Teacher Recognition” and “Top Support Staff” Campaign in honor of Teacher Day School Family Day. The event recognizes teachers and support staff who exhibit excellence in their job performance and have demonstrated leadership and service to the education community. In addition, eight $500 scholarships are awarded to deserving students who meet the criteria set forth by the KCEA screening committee and have shown involvement and leadership in school and community activities. The event will be held at the Bluff Banquet Center at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. For more information, please contact Ted O’Dell at KCEA, (616) 957-1944. Local winners of this year’s event are: Alexis Chaney-alternative education scholarship Christopher Newell-dependent scholarship Allison Stephens-dependent scholarship Allison McSweeney, fourth-year teacher-Sue Burt Scholarship
April 16 2009
by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools As we all know, the state of Michigan’s economy is in crisis mode. Unemployment is over 11 percent, and sales from a variety of businesses are down. Both of these factors have resulted in a serious decline in revenues used to fund the state’s public schools. In late February, Governor Granholm declared that Michigan schools would receive $59 less per student in 2009-10 than they received in 2008-09. Then, in early March, the Governor announced that because of potential revenues from the Federal Stimulus Package, it is possible that the best case scenario for school funding might be a freeze rather than a reduction. Although a funding freeze is our best case scenario, our costs continue to rise, just as in your home or business, despite active efforts to contain them. In anticipation of a freeze in state funding, we project we will need to reduce our costs by $2.5 million in order to balance the 2009-10 budget. This number would be higher in the event of a funding reduction. We are committed to doing our very best to keep most of these reductions away from the classroom, but with 85 percent of our budget delegated to staffing, that will be difficult. For the past several months, we have been giving presentations to staff and parent organizations regarding Michigan’s serious economic crisis and its impact on all public schools. We have also reported to these groups that, prior to July 1, it will be necessary for the Board of Education and administration to reduce our costs by $2.5 million. We are currently identifying where those reductions will occur, and I will notify you through our webpage www.rockfordschools.org and the district newsletter The Rampage once the Board of Education has approved them. A frequently asked question during our public budget presentations involved using the revenues from the $45 million bond issue passed by voters last May to ease the funding shortfall from the state of Michigan. There is only one answer to this question: IT IS ILLEGAL TO CO-MINGLE FUNDS, such as revenues from the bond issue and general day-to-day operating funds. So, it is important to understand when you see new classrooms added to six of […]
Navarres celebrate 50th anniversary William and Sharon Navarre of Rockford are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday, April 17, 2009. They were married April 17, 1959, in Barryton, Michigan at the Church of God. Their children are Denise and Clyde Place of Barryton, Audrey and John Wood of Hickory Corners and Deanna Navarre of Grand Rapids. They have nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. An open house is planned for April 25, 2009 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Moose Lodge in Greenville. Family and friends are invited. No gifts, please.
You are invited to Winfield Bigney’s 80th surprise birthday party on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at Pioneer Christian Reformed Church, 3110 17 Mile Rd. N.E., Cedar Springs. Open house for Winfield is from1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please arrive by 12:30 p.m. if you want to be in on the initial surprise. He will arrive at 12:50 p.m. thinking he is attending an event for his great-grandson. No gifts please. Your presence is all he would want.