school funds

Be on the lookout for pink teeth

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

Pink teeth are popping up everywhere in the Rockford area. And it’s all because of one orthodontist Dr. Mark Brieden. “We’re having a lot of fun with it. My wife, Dixie, came up with the idea and, with the help of the whole staff, we’re doing something positive to help fight breast cancer,” said Brieden. “We are asking all of our patients to wear pink ties on their braces. For each patient that agrees, Brieden Orthdontics is making a donation to Relay for Life. It’s more of a challenge for the men and boys, but they seem to be glad to help us in this worthy cause and search for a cure.”

School funds must be kept separate

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

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 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 […]