TEMPERANCE, MI (Toledo News Now) - Thursday night, the Bedford School Board approved the 2012-2013 budget, but there is still a $1.4 million deficit, and cutting it will not be easy.
The Board describes the budget as 'fluid.'
"It's a struggle. Struggle each day trying to do the best we can to meet the needs," says Board member Mike Smith.
State funding will depend on a district deficit elimination plan pending before the Michigan Department of Education.
State support is now what it was in 2005. Plus, enrollment has dropped 10% in the last eight years.
"We have to project what we think we're going to get. We don't exactly know how the state's going to adopt their finalization and how that's going to effect us" says Smith.
The Board is also asking for just over $900,000 in savings next year from their teachers union.
The union has been working without a contract for two years. Proposed pay cuts will be in the area of 7 and a half percent.
That figure is insulting to union negotiator Mike Buzene.
"We feel the 6.4% a year ago was a good offer and a show to try to help avert a problem. A lot of the problem though does come from Lansing," Buzene said.
No new contract negotiations are scheduled, and Buzene is waiting for the Board to make the next move.
"We had about forty meetings. Good share of the time talking to lawyers," Buzene said.
The goal continues to be to move the budget from red to black.
Adjustments could be made, as needed, during the school year depending on the outcome of state funding and teacher negotiation.
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