$17M budget deficit discovered after Wayne-Westland school district thought it had surplus

The Wayne-Westland Community Schools District is forced to make budget changes after a $17 million budget deficit was recently discovered.

Before an annual audit, the district thought it had a surplus, but the review of finances revealed the massive shortfall. The district collected approximately $135 million in revenue but had expenses of $152 million.

Dozens of people attended a special meeting on Wednesday night to ask questions about what comes next. 

"At this moment right now we don’t know exactly where we are, but we know that we’ve got a tremendous problem that has to be addressed," said the Wayne-Westland School Board President David Cox.


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A financial team is looking at the budget and possible solutions, which are likely to include cuts to the budget. These cuts could come soon to avoid a state takeover of the district. Exact budget cuts haven't been revealed yet. 

While teachers and school employees wait to see what happens next, they are worried about the future.

"It has caused a lot of us to feel very stressed and overwhelmed," said Ashley Howarth, an elementary building substitute. "It has personally caused me a lot of physical stress in my own body, and I can't perform my job at the same status I normally would."

The district released a statement, which reads in part that "this is not the result of a deliberate miscalculation or misconduct."

This statement goes on to say that school budgets are generally more complex due to the influx of Covid funds.

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