GRPS presents new budget; makes up $8M deficit

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Public Schools budget for the 2015-2016 is being presented tonight and the main issues continues to be inactivity from the legislature in Lansing.

The school district also continues to lose students, but at a much lower rate this year.  The district was projected to lose 400 students, but only lost 47 for the previous school year.  According to the district, GRPS was just that close to being one of the first urban districts in the state to return to growth.  Also according to the district, unless the state Legislature reverses underfunding of districts like Grand Rapids, they would need an enrollment increase of 1,000 students just to break even.

For 2015-2016, the district had to make up an $8 million deficit. For the coming year, the district is cutting 46 total positions.  All but six of the positions are unfilled vacancies.  12.5 of the positions are with the central office and 23 positions are in Special Education.  Special Education is being restructured so that more of those students will be able to go to their neighborhood school and be integrated with other students.

The district is also going to restructure the approach to budgets and working on projecting three-to-five years out to account for funding issues with or without Lansing involvement.

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