Harper WoodsJune 29, 2012
Harper Woods schools passes budget on second try
By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer
HARPER WOODS — After realizing that the June 19 vote to approve the budget was one vote shy of what is necessary to pass the motion, the district brought the school board back for a special meeting June 26 to get the job done.
The administration made some tweaks to the budget, which garnered more support this time around, before the June 26 meeting.
“We have a budget for the school year,” Board President Brian Selburn said after the 5-0 vote June 26. “We’re now in compliance with state law.”
They had until the end of the month to pass a budget in order to meet the state requirement, so they had no choice but to call the special meeting after the previous week’s vote failed.
On June 19, there were three in favor and two opposed, but they needed a majority of the board, not just a majority in attendance that night. With a seven-member school board, they hadn’t properly passed the budget.
With two members still absent June 26, they just the same needed at least four votes. With some of the changes, including lowering the number of school of choice students in the projections, factored in, the budget passed unanimously.
Those initial projections were a sticking point for some board members on June 19, Selburn being one of them.
Some board members thought aiming for about 200 students in the limited school of choice program was too lofty of a goal, especially since the district only had 20 eligible applications by the June 19 meeting.
“I’m finding it really difficult to accept the projection,” Selburn said at the June 19 meeting. “So far, we’ve got 20, and that’s not good,” he said. “I just don’t think we’re going to make it.
“It’s a balanced budget on paper, but it’s a fantasy,” he said at that meeting, adding that “if any of us would try to operate our house like this, we’d be in trouble.”
Others agreed that the projections were a concern.
“There’s too many choices out there, and it’s not to our advantage,” Board Secretary Tracy Purnell said.
Board member Jason Tinsley also had questions and concerns on June 19.
“It does come across as a number put out there because it’s a number that we need to hit,” he said.
Superintendent Todd Biederwolf had explained, however, that there were other projections in the budget that were conservative that could work in favor of the district’s bottom line, which could help balance out those other concerns.
He also explained how the district came up with the projections and mentioned how they are working with a company to market the district this year.
Ultimately, though, the district changed the budget to lower the school of choice rate by about 45 students before the June 26 meeting.
“I still don’t think that these numbers are ever going to be seen in reality,” Selburn said, “but I am very glad to see that the administration has gotten a little bit of a wake-up call and made some revisions.”
This all means that the projected fund balance for the end of the next fiscal year will be about $52,000 instead of more than $100,000.
However, that budget also doesn’t include the revenue from the district’s plans to bring in an additional alternative education program in the city through a proposal that is in the works.
That proposal will be discussed again in July.
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall - Berkley
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi - Metro Detroit
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Looking Back: 1920s Coolidge Highway - Berkley
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Looking Back: Selinsky-Green Farmhouse c. 1898 - St. Clair Shores
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi