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Published: Friday, 6/25/2010

Bedford schools' $5.4M deficit reduced to $500,000


TEMPERANCE - Bedford Public Schools still has a $500,000 budget deficit, a decrease from the $5.4 million projected in February, the board of education revealed during a meeting Thursday night.

A $2 million increase in projected state funding, a decrease in health insurance costs, and $2.3 million in budget cuts account for the difference.

Board members called on the public to contact state legislators to balance the Michigan schools' budget so they could prepare for next year.

Superintendent Ted Magrum, who could not be present at the meeting because of a family emergency, sent a message acknowledging the deficit and announcing the district's administration would take a 3.3 percent reduction in annual compensation next year.

The budget cuts include more than $2 million in personnel reductions and $231,888 in non-personnel cutbacks, such as reductions for the district music department and a subsidy for the district's athletics department, Chief Financial Officer Josh Dyer said in a presentation to the board.

Though the board sent out pink slips to 46 district employees early this month, they recalled all but two teachers, board President Shawna Smith said.

Additionally, 46 employees retired.

"We have to be vigilant and contact senators to get us a budget," board member Michael Smith said. "The legislators promised us to have something in place, and they haven't."

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