LANSING, MI (WTVB) - The Michigan Senate this week passed a school aid bill which State Senator Bruce Caswell reported included per pupil funding increases that would bring hikes to kids in Branch County schools ranging from $212 for Quincy up to $297 for Union City. However, Democrats objected, calling for restoration of a two billion-dollar cut from two years ago. Many school officials also take issue with the $15.1 billion spending bill. It’s not a simple plan for local officials to digest.
One west Michigan school superintendent, Calvin DeKuiper of Zeeland, said he headed a team of district officials that spent the better part of this week going over it, having to review not only the per pupil numbers, but also there are different line items for incentives, and then there are expenses that are billed back to school districts with the major concern, the retirement rates. DeKuiper claims that makes the revenue increase in the proposal meaningless with the slight increase in funding wiped out by the retirement costs, making the budget for this year basically net neutral.