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Wayne-Westland school district seeks $30 million in state aid to avoid layoffs

Wayne-Westland schools seek $30 million in state aid to prevent layoffs
Wayne-Westland schools seek $30 million in state aid to prevent layoffs 02:12

(CBS DETROIT) - The Wayne-Westland School Board is answering the $30 million question about how to balance this massive budget deficit.

The district's upcoming budget includes up to $17 million in cuts, but the board voted not to slash a penny. 

The decision puts the upcoming budget nearly $9 million in the hole, but they hope to bridge the gap by seeking out new sources of funding.

After passing a motion (5-2) to adopt a deficit budget of roughly $9 million to start the year, they passed another motion (5-2) to request up to $30 million in state aid.

Without the loan, the district wouldn't have enough cash on hand to make payroll.

Those voting in favor know they needed to make a decision before the June 30 budget deadline, and the board president believes they'll still need to make more cuts even after borrowing from the state.

Avoiding budget cuts might help prevent layoffs and loss of school programs for now, but the two trustees voting no say they're just kicking the can down the road.

"I don't know how you all can vote on a budget that you know is going to be a deficit without doing something before June 30th to meet the requirements of the law," said board trustee Mark Neal, defending his no vote on the budget motion.

"We want do adopt a realistic budget of where we're at, and sure that's not pretty right now, but we are going to make the changes we need to make. The budget can be amended as we've seen this year," said board president Bradley Gray after voting yes on the new budget.

"I would say that I'm cautiously optimistic. With new people in place, I hope we can move forward better than we have this year," said Wayne Westland MEA UniServ Director Tonya Karpinski.

It's still unclear when amended cuts will be added to the budget or if that will affect students and staff. Stay with us as we continue to provide updates as new budget information becomes available. 

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