Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education passes proposed budget for 2020-2021 year

Kalamazoo Public Schools board holds a virtual vote at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 29, ahead of a “back to school” listening forum. (WWMT / Hannah Knowles){ }

Kalamazoo Public School voted 6-1 on Monday to pass the proposed budget for the 2021 school year.

Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education scheduled the virtual vote and public discussion of the yearly budget at 5:30 p.m. June 29, 2020 after a livestream error canceled the vote on June 25.

The budget included nearly $7 million in cuts, which include closing an alternative learning middle school, cutting the athletics budget by 5% and eliminate five positions from Kalamazoo Central High School and five positions from Loy Norrix High School.

“The majority of the positions will be eliminated due to attrition,” Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri said at the start of the meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Gary Start said retiring teachers or moving teachers would not be replaced and they are dealing with cutting most of the positions from Kalamazoo Central and Loy Norrix.

The board said they are also not cutting any literacy or art programs.

“We have really protected our academics,” Kalamazoo Public Schools at-large board member Patti Sholler-Barber said.

Sholler-Barber also discussed the cancellation of the school resource officer from the budget.

The previous contract for the school resource officer ended on June 14 and a new contract would have to be written by Raichoudhuri before school starts in the fall. The budget included funding for the school resource officer.

School budgets: