Source: Sherman Publications

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Governorís proposal could cost Oxford Schools $3.3M
Skilling believes legislators wonít allow $470-per-student cut

by Andrew Moser

February 23, 2011

Michigan Gov. Rick Synder dealt what could be preceived as a deathblow to schools when he proposed a $470 cut per pupil to the student foundation allowance.

However, Superintendent of Oxford Community Schools Dr. William Skilling said that it was too early to tell if it was actually going to happen.

"Just because the govener proposed it doesn't mean it is going to happen," he said. "Both the House (of Representatives) and the Senate have to approve his budget proposal."

Tim Loock, the Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations, agreed.

"It still needs to go through the legistalive process, so where we wind up could be a lot different than where we are right now," Loock said.

According to Loock, if the proposed $470 per pupil cut occur, the district would be looking at a potential $3.3 million in revenue loss.

Skilling said that House representatives that he spoke with were under the impression there would be no cut to education for the 2011-2012 school year. Skilling even suggested, based on his conversations with the House representatives, the number of people who knew about the proposed cuts to education was very small.

He added that he was optimistic the full amount of the cut Synder was proposing would not occur.

"I think there is a good chance the reductions might not be as severe," he said. "When a lot of representatives and senators hear about how disastrous that would be for school districts, I think there will be a change."

Even though Skilling does not forsee a huge cut to the foundation allowance, he also does not expect an increase either.

Nor does he want to see an increase happen.

"The reason I would not advocate for more funding, even though there is enough money in the School Aid Fund to do that, is we do not know what the following year is going to bring," he said. "So that additional money in the School Aid Fund that would not be needed to hold school districts arms should be carried forward in case we have a worse year next year."