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Owosso Public Schools CFO regarding upcoming school budgets: 'Uncertainty'

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT
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(06/16/2020) -- In just two weeks, public school budgets are due, and districts across the state are trying to figure out how to make the upcoming school year work.

It comes at a time when Michigan is facing its own budget deficit of over $6 billion.

Owosso Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Julie Omer describes the budget process and going into the next few months as "uncertain."

"We know that the state has a big hole to fill, and unfortunately we're a piece of that," Omer said.

She has been working hard to come up with next year's budget for Owosso Public Schools. But there are so many unknowns -- which makes the process even more cumbersome.

Unknowns include how much per-pupil funding could be cut from the state level. But it's not just the state at play here.

"It's also at the federal level. There's a lot of uncertainty in terms of, will there be some additional funds to help schools?" Omer said. "We know everyone's hurting, but our job has the most important impact because we're impacting the future."

The future is a scary thought for many, but it needs preparation. Owosso schools have adopted some general guidelines in the next budget, which includes things like maintaining a 6% fund balance, trying to maintain programs and positions and limiting salary cuts.

But as of Tuesday, it's just too early to tell what may actually happen.

Administrators will have a better understanding of what things will need to happen once school funding at the state and possibly federal level are addressed.

"It's a guessing game for everybody, because they just don't know and everyone's doing the best they can with what they have," Omer said.

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