Hopkins may lose money in Gov.’s state aid proposal

Supt. Gary Wood

Hopkins Public School Supt. Gary Wood have Board of Education members updates on the latest news from Lansing Monday night.

Some of his presentation included good news, some did not.

The good news is that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed budget suggests an increase of $164 per pupil for the next academic year. The bad news is that Hopkins has lost 110 students during the pandemic, so actually the result would be a shortfall of about $273,000.

The Hopkins student count has been pegged at 1,505, more than a hundred fewer than the estimated 1,650 from a couple of years ago.

Wood expressed disappointment in the governor’s office over the past 20 years for increasing financial support to higher education, particularly community colleges. He said Proposal A from 1994 was passed by voters specifically to help K-12 public schools.

But Wood singled proposals in the Legislature that would insist intermediate school board members to visit schools and inspect them for violation and would mandate an increase in ISD board members from five to seven.

The superintendent said it’s difficult enough to get anybody to serve on ISD boards and an idea to force members to do inspections, “just seems ludicrous to me.”

The board also reconfirmed its change in the learning plan to have students attend every day but Wednesday in classrooms starting March 8. Wednesday will continue to be reserved for virtual instruction and catch-up instruction.

Wood also said he is interested in a recommendation to refinance the school bond because it could result in a savings of about $181,000.

The board agreed with the recommendation of the Allegan County Health Department to cancel field trips for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year.

The next Hopkins Board of Education meeting will be a work session on line at 6 p.m. Monday, March 1.

Leave a Comment