In mid-March when Governor Whitmer was issuing stay at home orders and closing businesses due to public safety over COVID-19, under the surface a storm was brewing with the School Aid Fund. The School Aid Fund (SAF) has a number of revenue streams that are negatively impacted by an economy on hold. Some are projecting budget holes for the SAF are as large as 2.4 billion dollars over the next two years.
Director Wamack said, "We are constantly monitoring the status of State Aid to make sure that Hemlock Public Schools has the best information available to make decisions with. Our strategic spending in the past has left us in a good position to handle whatever we end up facing in regards to our state funding."
Each state has its own funding formula and mechanisms that fund K-12 public education. In some states, K-12 public education funding may not be as severely impacted as Michigan. Since the State of Michigan cannot print money and is required to have a balanced budget one of the only solutions is federal stimulus dollars. Educators have been contacting our delegates in Washington D.C. over the last month or so requesting assistance to help protect our students’ education and opportunities.
Hemlock Public School District is required to have a budget in place for the next school year by the end of June. District leaders along with the Board of Education have been working to maximize student learning and opportunities while attempting to balance the books. For next year it appears the district will be forced to streamline and reach into the general fund to get through 2020-2021. The district is grateful to voters for passing the sinking fund on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020, just before schools’ face-to-face instruction was shut down for the remainder of the year. This will help maintain the school facilities at a time when the operational budget simply would not be able to support it.
Superintendent Killingbeck said, “We are fortunate to have done several right things over the past half dozen years to be able to minimize the impact on student programming and opportunities as the districts all across the State of Michigan are facing budget cuts with reduced funding from the state.”
We encourage staff, parents, and community members to contact our elected officials and voice your support for K-12 education funding.
Governor Whitmer (517) 373-3400 or (517) 335-7858
State of Michigan Senator Ken Horn, (517) 373-1760
State of Michigan Representative Rodney Wakeman, (517) 373-0837
State of Michigan Representative Ben Frederick, (517) 373-0841