By DEB WUETHRICH
Although much of the Tecumseh Public Schools planning process has involved budgeting for the worst-case scenario, a little ray of hope shines through as projections are made toward balancing this year’s budget. TPS Chief Financial Officer Bill Wright said so far, the district has been including figures that assumed a loss of 140 students, based on what has been happening for the past few years in the area of student enrollment, but a recent count showed an estimated loss of 14 students for this year.
“We may have a little break in this area,” said Wright. “We’ll be counting a couple more times before we have the final numbers, but we think maybe enrollment has bottomed out.”
As Wright presented an update on the budget status, he pointed out that such factors as an increase in staff insurance payments would be adjusted, but there are other areas that are simply unknown at this time. Local revenues through assessments have decreased by 11 percent in the city, with Raisin Township close behind, providing fewer funds than in the past, and earnings on investments are at historically low rates.
How much schools can count on in the form of the per student Foundation Allowance remains as unsettled as in previous years, but is scheduled to be $7,151 per student this year due to the $165 cut made in fiscal year 2010, down from $7,316 per student last year. What’s up in the air for next year is a senate proposal of an additional cut of $255, and a proposal by Governor Jennifer Granholm that includes no cut, but new taxes.
“These proposals are very different from each other,” Wright said.