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Budget bill just passed in Lansing

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July 23, 2020


TOPIC: Budget bill just passed in Lansing

 

Dear Trenton Families,

 

 As you may have heard, legislators in Lansing passed a bipartisan budget this week for fiscal year 2019-20, including funding for schools. At Trenton, we were pleased to see the significant work that went into this agreement. However, it’s important to note the funding is only for last school year, making up for what was lost as a result of COVID-19 in the 2019-20 budget, which ended in June.

 

 There still remains a $1.1 billion shortfall in this year’s (2020-21) State School Aid Fund budget that has not yet been addressedIn our district, that still means a $700 per student loss in funding. Our Board of Education passed a budget in June to be responsible and address this shortfall.  But, we need answers from Lansing and Washington – as they have not passed budgets for schools.  Especially in these times, we need state and federal help to properly fund our schools.

 

 It has become increasingly clear that nearly every element of ensuring a safe return to school will have a price tag associated with it. In fact, the Tri-County Alliance for Public Education estimates the statewide cost of reopening schools safely will be more than $1 billion for the upcoming school year. For TPS, estimating this cost is extremely difficult.  Whether it is PPE requirements or other measures required to keep students and faculty safe, the costs will be substantial.

 

 As you know, significant work is underway to prepare for a safe reopening of schools, and our first priority is ensuring all students, families, teachers and staff feel comfortable returning to school.  A preliminary survey on opening school will be available Friday, July 24, 2020 on our website and with this survey link..

 

 We’re committed to finding a path forward with the safety and well-being of our students, teachers and staff in mind, and we encourage you to join us in speaking up about the fact that schools need a better sense of budget realities in order to reopen safely.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me through email

mentzerd@trentonschools.com ) or a phone call (734-676-8600).

 

Thank you, as always, for your commitment to your child’s education.

 

Sincerely,

 

Douglas B. Mentzer

Interim Superintendent of Schools