Rockford Superintendent Michael Shibler PhD

Rockford Superintendent against implementation of all-day everyday kindergarten programs

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER As schools in the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) district prepare for kindergarten round-up meetings, the superintendent has continued to raise concerns about the proposal for all-day, everyday kindergarten classes as it would cost the district an additional $1.8 million. Rockford Superintendent Michael Shibler, PhD, said Rockford will continue “to work hard to provide the best possible education to the students we serve.” However, he said, in times of the state of Michigan’s financial crisis, a proposal to go to all-day everyday kindergarten will put additional challenges on the school district. Shibler explained to The Rockford Squire how, despite initial indications that there would be no further cuts, the proposal for all-day, everyday kindergarten would mean additional hardships on districts. One year ago, the state legislature passed and Gov. Rick Snyder signed a two-year School Aid Bill for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 that actually results in less funding per child in 2012-2013 than during the 2005-2006 school year. School funding was at $6,875 per pupil in 2005-2006 and reached a high of $7,316 in 2008-2009 before being decreased to $7,146 for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 then $7,046 for 2011-2012 and cut to $6,846 for the 2012-2013 school year. “As you can see, from the highest funding level of $7,316 per child in 2008-2009, Rockford Public Schools will drop $470 per child next year. When factoring in the rising costs of daily operations due to inflation, RPS has been forced to cut $9.6 million from its operating budget since 2009-2010,” Shibler said. The freeze in wages and salary, which was instituted three years ago, will continue into the 2012-2013 year. Employees also are now contributing 18 percent toward the costs of their health insurance premiums, he said. “Individually and collectively, Rockford Public Schools has participated in ‘shared sacrifices,’” Shibler said. Snyder has now publicly stated that he believes cuts to public education are over and schools may start experiencing a slight increase in funding. This, Shibler said, should mean that there would not need to be cuts. Within the current School Aid bill is a provision to require all school districts to implement all-day everyday kindergarten beginning in 2012-2013, Shibler said. He said many school districts offer kindergarten programs half a day every day or […]