St. Joseph Public Schools presented with budget road map

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – During the Board of Education meeting Monday night, St. Joseph Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Bruce presented a budget road map that outlined the district’s plans.

According to officials, they anticipate a $700 cut per student for the rest of this school year as well as next year, culminating in a loss of about $4.2 million.

“Through three work committees - focused on instruction, facilities/operations and health/wellness - we are not only identifying ways to maximize district funds, but are also reinventing our service model, examining how we deliver our curriculum and learning, and how to best support our students and staff through the lens of COVID-19,” said Dr. Bruce.

According to officials the district will spend down its fund balance in order to address the current year’s reduction of $2.1 million.

Officials reviewed various data, finding three areas where money can be reallocated in order to meet this goal.

These three areas include operations/transportation, attrition, and line-item reductions.

“We are making the best decisions possible with the information we have now,” said Brenda Graham, the district’s Chief Financial Officer. “To be fiscally responsible and ensure St. Joseph Public Schools students are being served with a quality education, we need to put plans into place now. Our fiscal year begins on July 1st while the State’s fiscal year doesn’t start until October 1st. We are required to bring a budget to the Board before we know what the state will do in terms of a reduction in funding. We are urging the legislature at the State and federal level to minimize the impact of this financial crisis to our classrooms.”

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