3 W. MI schools address budget cuts, reopening plans Monday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three West Michigan school districts bracing for budget cuts will talk about their plans Monday night.

Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, and Portage Public Schools are all facing multi-million dollar shortfalls next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders from Grand Rapids Public Schools will submit a budget proposal to the district’s board of education at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The updated proposal scraps school closures and Montessori program changes, but includes more cuts to staff and funding at the cabinet and central office levels.

Kalamazoo Public Schools will hold budget and back-to-school planning sessions. Monday’s two back-to-school planning sessions will take place at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Zoom. Other sessions are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.

KPS’ Board of Education will also hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. to consider the district’s budget. That meeting will be livestreamed online. People who register in advance can weigh in on the plans.

Portage Public Schools is considering cutting middle school sports because of its budget shortfall. The district is meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m.

The meetings are happening on the eve of the state unveiling its plans for in-class learning this fall. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says her focus is on keeping everybody safe while getting students back in the classroom.