(10/09/13) - Saginaw Schools may have to lay off seven employees because of
smaller than expected numbers from Student Count Day.
Many other districts are also dealing with tighter budgets as the student numbers drop.
Declining enrollment was one of the reasons the Buena Vista School district dissolved earlier this year.
More than two dozen teachers lost their jobs. The union who represented those teachers says they are feeling the impact in other districts they represent.
Saginaw public School district leaders were hoping to gain extra students this year. Even after adding about 160 students from the Dissolved Buena Vista School district, the student count was down by two percent.
Susan Rutherford is the UniServ Director for Michigan Education Association. She says the dissolution of BV Schools has had an impact in Saginaw.
"Although we did get 265 students that were supposed come to Saginaw, not all of them did come to Saginaw, but we also gained a lot of liability because we gained ownership of buildings that are now empty that we have to maintain. There are buildings that we have to secure, we have to insure," she said. "It's kind of disheartening to watch a district just slowly get smaller and smaller and smaller."
Rutherford says those five buildings will cost the district about an extra $1 million. That means the budget deficit will be larger than it was before.
"It just shows you what is happening to the urban districts in the state of Michigan. We're getting smaller and smaller, we're losing our student population and that's because of the loss of jobs in the area," she said.
Some of the expected students may have left the district, while others may have gone to neighboring school districts.
"I think school of choice is the worst thing that could have ever happened to public schools because you have students in almost every school district that is, they're attending a school district that is not their home school district," Rutherford said.
Rutherford says Bridgeport is up about 175 students. Some of that is due to having more BV students.
She says other districts are maintaining.
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