School administrators can’t begin work until lawmakers announce budget guidelines

Michigan school districts in limbo as lawmakers drag feet on budget guidelines
Michigan school districts in limbo as lawmakers drag feet on budget guidelines

LANSING, Mich. – As the school year comes to a close for a lot of students across Michigan, the real work begins for administrators.

The summer is usually spent preparing for next year, buying books, supplies, computers and making classroom improvements. However, administrators won’t be able to start on their usual tasks right away because of politicians in Lansing.

The current chair of the K-12 and Michigan Department Appropriations and Transportation subcommittees was unable to do an interview with Local 4.

Read: Wave of superintendent retirements leave Metro Detroit school districts with leadership void

A spokesperson from Republican Sen. Wayne Schmidt’s office did send a written statement:

The K-12 Alliance of Michigan represents thousands of students and teachers and hundreds of school districts in Southeastern Michigan.

It’s executive director, Robert McCann, said he is angry at the prospect of not getting a budget in time to fulfill the needs of districts struggling to combat COVID learning loss and the catch up needed to launch a successful in-person learning model for the fall.

If the Legislature does not meet the deadline for a budget in the next 8 working days, the districts can’t make critical decisions to properly plan. The K-12 Alliance said that every day that goes by makes the superintendent’s job even harder.

Any delay beyond July 1 jeopardizes the ability of schools to hire the workers needed to support the recovery of students.

Read: Continuous education coverage

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.