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Superintendents blast education budget

As Michigan schools begin their new budget year this week, some local superintendents are urging lawmakers to return from their summer break to boost education funding.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new education budget last week that boosts funding for all public schools by at least $50 per student. But Forest Hills Schools Superintendent Dan Behm says districts face new costs that wipe out that minimum increase.

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A proposed increase in per-pupil funding for K-12 schools would actually leave many area districts at the same or even lower funding levels next fiscal year.

That's according to Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel, who says that would be the net result of moving from a funding formula in which poor districts get twice as large of a funding increase as wealthier districts, to a formula where the minimum foundation grant is boosted by $175. 

Bob Eccles

Student count day appears to have shown a substantial rise in the number of students in Ypsilanti Community Schools.  

Superintendent Scott Menzel says unaudited numbers from Wednesday's count showed 4547 students in class - 55 more than in the fall.  

It's possible some students who may have been out sick or not in school for another legitimate reason could be added to the total.  

Similarly, not all the students counted Wednesday may be the "full-time equivalent" students the state uses to determine funding for school districts.  

It'll be several weeks before the official numbers are known.  

Wednesday's count represents 10 percent of the funding equation, while the fall count represents 90 percent.