BOE votes to approve 2023-2024 budget, including teacher cuts


Grosse Pointe School’s Board members and administration at the June 20 school board meeting. (Julia Roeder ’25)

Julia Roeder ’25, Page Editor

Following the weeks of the BOE discussing the final budget for the 2023-2024 school year, the board voted to approve the proposed budget.

Cuts for the 2023-2024 school year include many personnel cuts. There will be cuts to teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, custodians, hall monitors, counselors and other positions throughout the entire district.

The BOE voted to cut $4.6 million, reducing next year’s budget to $103 million. The budget also includes a $35,000 district wide branding study and a $10,000 enrollment study. The budget proposition can be found on the district’s website. Throughout the five and a half hour meeting, Trustee Valerie St. John asked consistent questions about equity throughout the cuts.

‘‘People will understand (the cuts being made) if you discuss it,’’ St. John said, ‘‘If there is a justification and if this has really been thought through and the trustees that instituted these budget cuts really feel that this is the best use of our money, we will explain it in a public way. I think we will have a lot of community trust and a lot more community buy-in if we do it that way. But if we refuse to answer questions, it will continue to damage the trust and it will continue the perception of having a chaotic board. We will lose enrollment and teaching staff.’’

June 30 is the final deadline for the BOE to turn in their budget to the State of Michigan. The cuts are a direct result of the continuous decline in enrollment school choice was discussed as a solution, but the board rejected it unanimously. Trustee Sean Cotton is in the majority favor of the budget.

‘‘I am in support of this budget, I believe that 4.6 million brings us to a stable position,’’ Cotton said. ‘‘We are just treading water with these budget cuts; I do believe that we have a lot of trust in the community in this budget.’’

The divided board came to no agreement with the budget, with the board majority wanting to make any cuts possible and the minority looking for equity in the cuts across the district.In the past months, many community members have been protesting the proposed budget, including students and teachers. Trustee David Brumbaugh voiced concerns regarding the process of the budget cuts.

‘‘We do need to approve the budget,” Brumbaugh said. “It is very frustrating to me that there have been certain concerns about the budget that have not been fully fleshed out, and it begged to believe that we have questions about this and we can have an extended conversation about these cuts. And not one person from the Board majority, wants to say word one to defend any position’s elimination.

Ultimately, the BOE voted to pass the 2023-2024 budget 4-3.