Lawmakers warn Michigan schools to prepare for significant budget cuts

Budget shortfall could mean 25% cut in classroom

DETROIT – A new crisis is emerging for Michigan schools, and it has nothing to do with distance learning. A massive budget shortfall could mean as much as a 25% cut in the classroom.

The dire assessment amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could turn into a harsh reality come next school year. The timing is only making the situation worse.

UPDATE -- May 12, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 48,021; Death toll now at 4,674

Since we’ve all been shut inside for the last two months, there’s not a lot of money coming in for schools, but if you look farther down the line, the situation looks even more bleak.

The state of Michigan provides about $8,000 per pupil funding. The best-case scenario right now is that it would drop to $7,200, and the worst-case scenario is that it drops to $5,600.

Those numbers come from Senate K-12 Appropriations Budget Committee Chairman Wayne Schmidt, of Traverse City.

“We’re looking at somewhere, you know, estimates as high as $6-8 billion short over the next year to 18 months,” Schmidt said.

Local 4 contacted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office and spoke with director Chris Kolb.

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