Local school district has surplus in tough times

"Frankly, our staff, our students and our parents have probably been a little bit spoiled because we haven't had to make cutbacks," said Superintendent James Hartley.
"Frankly, our staff, our students and our parents have probably been a little bit spoiled because we haven't had to make cutbacks," said Superintendent James Hartley.

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

ADRIAN (WTOL) - At a time when most school districts are downsizing, the Madison School District has been exercising growth.

"Frankly, our staff, our students and our parents have probably been a little bit spoiled because we haven't had to make cutbacks and make some of the reductions in programs and services that other districts have had to make," said Superintendent James Hartley.

Thanks to a growing student enrollment, the district has a savings balance of $3.5 million in its $14 million budget.

Hartley says that's because Michigan school funding is student-based. The more kids a district has, the bigger the budget.

This year, however, it seems the appeal is wearing off. Hartley says for the first time, the district has seen a drop in enrollment, losing 56 kids. "There's a lot of factories that have closed or are in the process of closing in Adrian. There won't be children to come to school if parents and families can't find jobs."

As the kids leave, the rainy-day fund is expected to dry up.