Dearborn Public Schools

July 5, 2009

June 29, 2009

The Honorable Governor Jennifer Granholm
Via Fax (517) 335-6863.

Good Afternoon, Governor Granholm,

If our children will inherit our legacy, then, we should do all that we can to insure that the legacy they inherit is better than we inherited from our parents.

The current economic crisis is not the making of the State of Michigan government. The economic crisis can be traced back to 1999 when the federal government loosened the criteria for home financing.

Our schools, like any business are faced with a myriad of laws and regulations that have to be implemented. Failure to implement these laws and regulations can have significant impact on the bottom line of the school district’s balance sheet. Dearborn is a leader in education initiatives and reform in servicing a diversified and needy student population.

Your predecessor, Governor Engler, set into motion the way the state funds schools. This funding scheme has been devastating to schools across the state. Over the last 8 years, my employer, Dearborn Public Schools has cut over 36 million dollars, laid off non instructional personnel and diminished the level of services that we can provide.

We expected the reduction in our per pupil state aid. So Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education has cut 11 million dollars in budget cuts for 2009-2010.

We have just been notified that there will be an additional cut of 7.8 million dollars. This represents 1,980,000 in State Aid by cutting $110 per pupil ($480,000 more than was figured) $5,800,000 in category 31A at risk monies and $1,600,000 in funding for the district’s Grant Start Readiness Program (GSRP)

This will virtually bring many of our Strategic Plan initiatives to a stand still. There will be catastrophic eliminations to programs and staff. With these additional cutbacks our district will need to eliminate programs and staff totaling $18,880,000 before the fall of 2009.

Letter to Governor Granholm
School Aid Cuts
June 29, 2009
Page 2

We are the only district in the State of Michigan to receive such a disproportional amount in state aid cuts. We are already contribute approximately $15,000,000 of our tax dollars back to the state. Please consider the devastating impact that the loss of 20(j) and 31(a) funding will have on Dearborn Public Schools. At a minimum, Dearborn will layoff more than 200 additional teaching positions and severely curtail programs for our at risk students that will have significant long term on the level of social services provided by other state entities. Also, Dearborn will fall into bankruptcy because the school district can’t keep up with all the employee costs.

Leadership in good times is demanding. Leadership in bad times proves character.

Please reconsider these further cuts in funding sources for Dearborn Public Schools.