Student funding will remain the same

ADRIAN – Principals can breathe a sigh of relief, as student funding will not take the blow that was once expected.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a Budget of $ 62.7 billion On Wednesday, that includes $ 8,111 per student and an additional one-time investment for schools, equivalent to about $ 65 per student. The allocation per student is the same as for the 2019-2020 school year.

It is also a welcome development from what we were saying to schools just a few months ago.

The Michigan Department of Education predicted a possible loss of school aid in the billions. The worst-case scenario was a loss of over $ 650 per student.

Schools had to submit a budget by July 1, which involved a lot of guesswork, as the school income figures are just starting to become clear.

Adrian’s public schools have taken a “linear approach,” according to Superintendent Bob Behnke, to avoid layoffs. The district budgeted for a loss of $ 685 per student.

“The good news is that the likelihood of having to dip into the fund balance or the rainy day fund (is low),” Behnke said.

At Blissfield Community Schools, Superintendent Scott Riley said the district budgeted for a loss of $ 500 per student, which would have represented a $ 1.2 million impact on revenue.

Tecumseh Superintendent Rick Hilderley said the funding will help offset costs related to personal protective equipment and other expenses accrued in preparing for face-to-face classes this year.

“With the loss of instructional time in the spring and the added expense of pandemic safety, adequate resources are essential,” he said in an email. “We will begin to review the budget revisions and make the necessary changes over the next few weeks.”

Districts are unlikely to change their budgets until count day, when schools record the number of students enrolled. The countdown day is October 7.

The income schools receive is actually based on a mix of spring and fall counting days, but the bottom line is that the number of students enrolled determines how much money a district receives.

Districts tend to be cautious when budgeting for expected staff. Adrian and Blissfield both predicted a drop in registrations.

Riley said the district has lost children whose parents have opted for homeschooling due to the pandemic.

Adrian will be encouraged by the recovery of funds lost due to a policy reversal of the US Department of Education.

APS has received more than $ 727,000 in Title I funds through federal coronavirus assistance legislation. Title I funds are intended for low income students. About two-thirds of APS students reach the federal poverty line.

The Lenawee Christian School receives a portion of these Title I funds because it is within the APS district boundaries. Historically, funding for private schools was determined by the number of low-income students.

However, the Department of Education ordered public schools to distribute money to their private counterparts. based on the total number of registrations.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision has been widely criticized in public schools and has been the subject of legal challenges. Federal judge blocked decision in September and ruled that it violated a mandate under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

Under the old guidelines, the APS would have allocated just over $ 14,000 to LCS. The new guidelines caused Adrian to send over $ 100,000.

From now on, the district will keep more of its Title I funds.

Behnke said it would help further fund their anti-poverty programs.