MONROE, MI (WTOL) - Michigan students returned to school Tuesday, but with many brutal budget cuts, much has changed since they wrapped up the previous school year.
Monroe Public Schools cut down its central administration and lost some teachers too. The district let go of 20 teachers and were able to bring back about five because of larger than expected enrollment.
"We did not get to call all of our teachers back. We still have several on layoff, but the good news is we're very solid this year. Fiscally solid," said Randy Monday, superintendent of Monroe Public Schools.
However, Monday is looking forward to a few new things, too. Teachers will implement the new school improvement plan. Soon anyone will be able to take a look at how individual classes and schools are progressing online.
"We'll be watching it very closely for all our core subjects, which is math, science, social studies and English," Monday said.
Bedford Public Schools kicked off its new school year as well. The district closed Smith Road Elementary School at the end of the previous school year. Many students were sent to new schools because of redistricting.
"We have students coming in from Smith Road, from Jackman Road, Monroe Road Elementary and then we have the students from Douglas Road. So a lot of adjustments, meeting new friends," said Carol Perz, the principal at Douglas Elementary.
Perz is new to Douglas, too. The former Smith principal replaced the retiring principal at Douglas.
"I'm excited," she said. "We had a great school at Smith, and I can tell Douglas is an awesome school."
To make space in the elementary schools, sixth graders have joined seventh and eighth graders at the junior high school. Bedford also consolidated bus routes and laid off about 15 teachers to save money.
Yet despite cuts, teachers and administrators remain optimistic about another year of learning.
"This is going to be a great year," Perz said.
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