Grosse Pointe schools debates millions in budget cuts during 9-hour board meeting

Grosse Pointe schools are weighing potentially painful budget cuts to the district as it deals with a record-decrease in enrollment among students. 

The district is weighing $5 million in cuts to next year's budget as it faces the ripple effects of the pandemic and dramatic declines in student enrollment. 

"It is not pleasant, and it's not something any of us are enjoying figuring out," said Trustee Lisa Papas. "We're talking about people and it's a horrible seat to sit in."

After nine hours of meeting, which included close to four hours of public comments from visitors, the district still hadn't settled on a budget for the 2023-24 school year. Board President Ahmed Ismail said the board will have a public hearing on the budget on Jun 12 before a formal vote during the June 20 meeting. 

The full meeting is online

In a sign of the tensions underscoring potential cuts, some parents grew loud speaking during the meeting.

"We should all be on the same side. You know what I don't hear? What is best for the students of this district when you sit up there and you talk about your budget cuts," said one parent.

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Trustee John Dean said a solution to the potential cuts was somewhere in the middle.

"I think we'd be in a healthier place if there was some version of in between that landed this - and no one will be happy, I understand that. But it's somewhere in the middle," he said.