Budget cuts on the horizon for Benton Harbor area schools

By: Sarah Rodts Email
By: Sarah Rodts Email

Benton Harbor area schools have released the plans for cutting $2.5 million from their budgets.

The deficit elimination plan was first given to board members last Thursday, but Superintendent Leonard Seawood refused to give the public plan to any media outlet at the meeting.

After filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act, NewsCenter 16 obtained the proposed list of cuts Tuesday night.

The cuts include closing Fair Plain Northwest Learning Academy, Martin Luther King Freshman Academy and Hull Middle School.

The plan also calls for merging Calvin Britain and McCord Elementary into the Martin Luther King building.

Other cuts include laying-off 40 employees, outsourcing the custodial work and cutting the maintenance and band transportation budgets. The maintenance department will be cutting back on toilet paper and soap meantime the bands are looking to cut $8,000.

This is only the beginning, however. According to the State Department of Education the district had a deficit of $11 million last year, meaning there’s still more than $8 million in cuts needed.

There will be a public hearing on the budget from 6-8 p.m. at the high school in the gymnasium.

To download the proposed cuts in advance of Wednesday's public hearing, click the link above this story.

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