Parents, students and staff discussed the 2013-2014 budget at a Community Budget Forum May 2 at Huron. The next forum takes place May 7 at Pioneer.
By Tara Cavanaugh
At the Community Budget Forum Thursday night at Huron High School, the crowd of parents and staff listened attentively as the administration laid out the 2013-2014 budget and the suggested cutbacks. The atmosphere was civil, constructive, and most of all concerned.
There is plenty to be concerned about. The Ann Arbor Public Schools district is facing a $8.6 million shortfall next year, and large budget deficits are projected to continue in the coming years.
AAPS Superintendent Dr. Patricia Green asked the crowd to understand the source of the cutbacks, and to offer constructive feedback.
“This is a serious situation, and it’s not new,” Dr. Green said. “Tonight’s not about: Don’t cut this, or don’t cut that. Folks, I’m being as honest as I can: Things are going to be cut. We don’t want to do it. But we have to balance the budget by law.
“So we need you to join with us in your very best thinking, to help make sure the survivability of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, as we know it and love it, goes on for many, many years.”
Director of Finance Nancy Hoover laid out the sources of the financial difficulties. Per-pupil funding from the state has not increased since 2002. Per-pupil funding in 2012 was $9,020; in 2002 it was $9,034.
As per-pupil funding has not increased, other costs have increased, such as transportation and health care.
To address the budget deficit for the coming year, the administration has made the following recommendations for instructional services, totaling a reduction of $6,246,068: Continue reading