COVID-19

Portage schools could cut pay, benefits, and middle school sports

Portage Public Schools is searching for ways to make up for an $8 million budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Portage Public Schools is considering several painful cuts in order to deal with an expected $8 million budget shortfall next school year.

Among those options is completely eliminating funding for middle school sports throughout the district.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

The district is also considering a 7% cut to teacher pay pending discussions with the teacher’s union.

Other options being considered are:

  • Cuts to administrative staff pay and benefits
  • Cuts to services and subscriptions the district pays for
  • Eliminating book purchases for school libraries
  • Cuts to curriculum purchases and related expenses
  • Changes to early childhood programs
  • Cuts to paraprofessionals
  • Cuts to construction and maintenance

Superintendent Mark Bielang lamented the budget situation.

“In my 25 years as a superintendent, this is by far the most difficult budgeting cycle that I’ve ever been through,” Superintendent Mark Bielang said. “Never have there been this many unknowns.”

The board of education will hold a virtual public hearing on the proposed budget cuts June 29.

You can read more at MLive.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.