UP schools to see budget increases for 2022-23 academic year

Marquette Area Public Schools, Breitung Township Schools and Ewen-Trout Creek Schools are all putting
FILE - Students at Kingsford Middle School
FILE - Students at Kingsford Middle School(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:39 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, BREITUNG TOWNSHIP & EWEN Mich. (WLUC) - Many U.P. schools often struggle with balancing their budgets, but this year that may be changing.

This comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a historic bipartisan education budget in July. State funding per student is up from $8,700 in 2021, to $9,150 in 2022. $250 million is also allocated to improving school facilities across the state.

Marquette Area Public Schools is planning to use its increased budget for a new high school swimming pool boiler. MAPS Food Services Director Christopher Collins noted that despite the budget increase, the district will have to contend with unprecedented school lunch food costs.

In my time with MAPS I have noticed that we normally experience a $0.005 increase per carton of milk,” Collins said. “This current school year we are looking at an increase of $0.07 per carton of milk which is unprecedented.”

Breitung Township School District Superintendent David Holmes says increasing the budget allows his district to standardize its math curriculum.

“At the elementary level we are able to standardize our math curriculum for K-sixth grade,” Holmes explained. That purchase really helps our teachers plan accordingly because there is continuity from grade level to grade level. Although students may not see that change, it is something our leadership and administrators plan for.”

Holmes added that enrollment at Breitung Township Schools is also up over 30 students compared to last year, a positive for the district. He noted that this is even further reason to use his district’s bigger budget to make educational improvements.

“Enrollment for us is on the upswing,” Holmes noted. “We have seen it gradually increase over the past 10 years to now where we are approaching the 2,000 student mark. The new budget allows us to keep class sizes where we would like to and purchase quite a bit of additional curriculum materials.”

In Ontonagon County, Ewen-Trout Creek Schools Superintendent David Radovich said his district has a $3 million budget for the upcoming school year. He added that increased state funding is enough to cover a few important upgrades instead of paying for them with the district’s general fund budget.

“We were able to do some improvements around the building,” Radovich explained. “We put in a new security system, we are going to redo our gym floor and our largest project is blacktopping a large portion of our parking lot.”

Ewen-Trout Creek Schools start Tuesday, Aug. 23. The Breitung Township School District begins on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

MAPS schools welcome students back to school after Labor Day on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

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