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State budget could mean more pain for public schools


LANSING/KALAMAZOO (WKZO) --    The Michigan Senate may be set to approve next year’s education budget today.  It differs from the House version and the original proposal put forward by the governor, putting more money in public education.

The House version doesn’t give districts any more money but proposes to help them with escalating retirement costs.

Their goal is to settle the budget by the end of next month.

Kalamazoo Public School officials have a few choice words for State budget proposals:   'Unconscionable, irresponsible and deliberate'. 

They say lawmakers are once again, forcing public schools to cut into programs that hurt children.   The budgets currently under consideration in Lansing would cost the district millions. Supt. Michael Rice says that’s one thing lawmakers just don’t seem to get, that they are hurting children.

They say the state, by offering early retirements, promoting privatization, and unlimited charter schools, they no longer have the employee bas to support their retirement system...adding to their expenses.

Assistant Superintendent for Finance Gary Start says unless they get help from Lansing, just the increase in Pension costs alone will be a 1.5-million dollar additional expense this year.