COVID-19

Kzoo schools predicts higher budget, enrollment for fall

The end of COVID could be a boon to the public school district.

Kalamazoo Public Schools is predicting that the next school year will be much better than the last one. That may not be saying much considering the past year, but dwindling funding and student numbers had many preparing for the worst.

Instead, school leaders say they’re anticipating an influx of students and a wealth of unexpected revenue.

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“Everything we heard last year was devastating,” said Deputy Superintendent Gary Start during a presentation to board members on Thursday. “Everybody believed that the coronavirus was going to cripple schools and caused us to make cuts, and I’m sure every other district in the state to make very conservative budget decisions.”

They don’t have hard numbers yet, but Start said they’re expecting an increase in per-pupil funding. In addition, they’re expecting 458 more students in fall 2021 than they had in fall 2020.

That means the district will be able to do some things it was previously not expecting to do. That could include hiring more teachers (which could be difficult due to a teacher shortage). It could also include reinstating some some administrative positions that were cut last year.

KPS – one of the few districts to finish out the 2020-21 school year entirely online – plans to return to in-person classes in the fall.

You can read more on MLive.

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