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Benton Harbor makes cuts, ensures teachers paychecks

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Teachers should be getting paychecks next week in Benton Harbor. The Benton Harbor School Board approved changes to the budget Wednesday to ensure state funding.

Last week the district found out they were only eligible for a $2 million emergency loan from the Michigan Department of Education. Benton Harbor based their budget on $6.7 million emergency loan, leaving a massive funding hole for the district.

Wednesday, the board approved outsourcing of secretaries and security as well as 10% pay cuts for administrators. Last week the teachers union approved a 10% pay cut to help the district make payroll. Superintendent Leonard Seawood said the moves should ensure the $2 million state loan.

Seawood told the board Wednesday the district can reapply for the $4 million loan in early October. He said the state wants to see the district shrink their budget as far as possible after student enrollment is determined.

“The good thing about it is they recommended we come back in October for the balance,” Seawood said. “They know we need the dollars.”

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