GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids Public Schools will cut 26 teachers for the upcoming school year, most because of declining enrollment.
Of the 26 teachers, 16 will be cut because of the enrollment -- they're projecting to lose 600 students next year -- and the other 10 teachers will be cut from the student support rooms. Julie Davis, the interim Executive Business and Finance Director, told 24 Hour News 8 the majority of those teachers are in the secondary schools.
The district will be adding 11 teachers to the elementary art and music program, which is intended to help save their enrollment numbers.
"Our board feels it's important with the restoration of the elementary and art and music to continue to attract students to our system, then hopefully stopping that enrollment loss," Davis said.
Beyond cutting teachers, GRPS is also cutting down on utility costs, legal costs and administrators will not receive merit pay in the fall.
The GRPS finance committee expects the proposed budget to go for a vote on Monday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. There is a public meeting about the new budget at the GRPS administration building this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
The new budget means the district will have to dip into its reserves.
For this year, it had more than 12% -- a little more than $19 million -- in the bank. The new budget will cut that reserve fund to about 6% -- closer to $9 million.
According to the school board's charter, the district has to keep at least 5% of the budget in the bank.
When a school's fund balance gets down to zero, the state Department of Education starts to send up red flags. That's what happened in Muskegon Heights, when after several years of a zero or negative fund balance, the state stepped in.
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was missing.