501 W Main St, Northville, MI 48167-1576 | Mary K. Gallagher, Superintendent
School families, students, staff and community members can get a clearer picture of the budget dilemma facing Northville Public Schools for the 2011-12 school year and beyond, as well as the possible impact on educational programs, services and staffing during two community forums being sponsored by the Northville Board of Education in April.
Why Host Community Forums?
“Michigan’s dire economic outlook and the impact it is having on state funding — which Michigan public schools rely on for 90 percent of their funding — is creating extraordinary budget challenges for our district as we struggle to manage resources and protect the learning that takes place in our classrooms every day,” said Northville Superintendent Dr. Leonard R. Rezmierski. “For nearly a decade, the state’s funding allocation to schools has not kept pace with the rising cost of operating the school system.”
Under Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s current budget proposal, Northville Public Schools faces a funding loss of $470 per student for the 2011-12 school year on top of an increase in the district’s mandatory state retirement contribution equal to $230 per student. Additionally, in 2012-13, the district will experience a loss in special education funding equal to $91 per student. Combined the impact of these actions for Northville Public Schools is a budget loss of $5.8 million (or $791 per student).
“It is a difficult and painful process to achieve reductions of this magnitude in a budget that has already been cut to the bare bones,” Dr. Rezmierski added. “The reality is that people’s jobs, their compensation, services provided to our families, and opportunities for our students will be impacted.”
“As a district and a community our challenge is to respond to this new reality in ways that ensure we continue to provide an excellent educational experience for all students.”
What Can I Expect at the Forums?
The Northville Board of Education and district leaders are hosting the community forums with the goal of creating an understanding among school families and the community of the district’s unprecedented budget challenges; sharing some of the painful choices in programs and staffing that will likely need to be made for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years; and outlining the proactive steps the district is taking to address, to the extent possible, the impact on student learning.
The upcoming community forums will offer participants the opportunity to review the data and analysis regarding the district’s budget in the following areas:
Following the 30-minute presentation, Board of Education members and district leaders will be available to meet with forum participants in small groups and answer questions. In addition, representatives from the May 3 Capital Improvement (Sinking Fund) Millage Campaign, the Northville Council of PTAs Legislative Action Network, and the Northville Educational Foundation will be on hand.
School families, staff and community members are encouraged to attend the community forum that best meets their schedule. The content and format will be the same at both forums.
What if I’m Unable to Attend One of the Forums?
The same information presented at the forums also will be available beginning April 11 on the district website (www.northville.k12.mi.us).
What Else Can I Do?
In addition to attending the forums, school parents and community members are strongly encouraged to contact their elected officials and voice their concern about the depth of the proposed cuts to school funding. Contact information for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the state legislators representing the Northville school community are available on the district website.
Northville school families and community members also are encouraged to become informed about the district’s 1-mill, five-year Capital Improvement (Sinking Fund) Millage request and to vote on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Additional information about the millage election also is available on the district website.