The stress never lets up. With all the serious events happening all around us, in both the nation and locally, the Kalamazoo Public Schools' budget meetings starting tonight will carry their own amount of stress, as financial decisions need to be made, under the scope and spotlight of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meetings are scheduled for tonight (June 1st) at 7pm, tomorrow evening (June 2nd) at 7pm, and then, at 3:30pm next Monday (June 8th). Instructions for watching the hearings are listed on the KPS website homepage.

The pandemic and the subsequent shut down of activity in the state has created at major loss of tax revenue for the state, and locally. That shortfall will limit the amount of funding the state can provide local school districts, and this is why these meetings are taking place. In addition, June 1st is the first day for new district superintendent, Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri

KPS says, "the School Aid Fund is predicted to be more than $1 billion below previous estimates for the next two years. As a result of this state shortfall, the foundation allowance that KPS receives for each student could be cut by as much as $650, resulting in a loss of approximately $8 million for the current school year and for the 2020-21 school year."

By inviting as many people as want to get involved into the budget making decision process, it could potentially bring about a consensus, though it does bring with it also the potential for major disagreement.

While it hasn't been mentioned, a millage increase would also be difficult to obtain from voters, even in the best of economic times.

After the three scheduled meetings, the Kalamazoo Public School Board expects to have a preliminary budget to present on June 18th, and plans to vote on it on June 25th.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app