Grosse Pointe parents bash district's plan to layoff teachers, cut $4.6 million from budget

Another frustrated meeting between school board officials and parents and students of the Grosse Pointe education district took place Monday where the community was told of plans to cut teaching positions at multiple schools within the district.

Grosse Pointe School's updated budget requires it to trim millions of dollars in spending to accommodate falling enrollment. The news wasn't well-received by parents or students.

"Our teachers, our counselors, you are putting them on a chopping block for what?" asked one irate student. "A student ratio that hasn't been updated since the 1960s? You are crippling not only my home and school but countless other students. Our clubs are losing advisors. kids are losing mentors. you are losing the future of your community."

Some parents complained the board members were treating them like children while others argued the cuts didn't respect the people being affected by them.

"Nothing you have done has been a service to the students, sir," said one parent. "Students came to the last board meeting and waited hours to speak, and they still feel as if nothing they say is going to matter."

The parent is referring to a May 22 meeting that went for nine hours after a public comment period extended into the early hours of the night. 

At the center of the Wayne County school district's issue is a $103 million budget and a plan to trim $4.6 million of spending. It could mean cuts to teaching and counseling positions at a high school and elementary school.

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The cause of the shortfall in funding stems from years of declining enrollment within the district. 

"Time again you tell us it is the prior boards' issues that have caused declining enrollment, that have caused negative feedback, but you are gonna own this budget," another parent said.

While the district has agreed on the proposal to cut several teaching positions, it did not agree on a budget Monday night. It plans to resume meeting Wednesday and is expected to vote on a budget during next week's meeting.