BCPS Budget Amendment Staves Off the State
Battle Creek Public Schools received a warning from its auditors in November: Stay on this track, and you risk intervention from the State of Michigan. The warning was rooted in fund balance guidelines; if BCPS falls below a certain fund balance, the state intervenes - if only to take a closer look at what is going on with district management.
Several months ago, Rep. John Bizon told WBCK he was notified by the state BCPS was on a "watch list" of troubled districts in Michigan. Other community leaders have kept an eye on the district, too, which has seen falling enrollment numbers. Former mayor and congressman Dr. Joe Schwarz decried the closing of Freemont School and others as a budget stopgap measure.
Since assuming the position full time, Superintendent Kim Carter has worked with the BCPS board to juggle temporary fixes - like closing school buildings - with a long-term management plan to deal with in-district parents choosing other districts for their children's education.
Just days before the Christmas break, the BCPS Board of Trustees approved a budget amendment to arrive at a fund balance that keeps the state away - at least for now. Carter told WBCK the district rearranged and otherwise addressed budget challenges without affecting student's educational programs. She did not elaborate.
Click the player below to hear her remarks.