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GRPS outlines new budget cuts

GRPS outlines new budget cuts


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal on Monday outlined a revised budget which she says keeps cuts as far from the classroom as possible.

The district is facing a $13.5 million dollar deficit due to a projected enrollment decline of 400 students this fall, limited new state funding, and increased health and retirement cost.

The Board of Education has demanded that the district's savings account not be under 5% of the budget.

To meet that goal, Neal outlined these cuts and changes:

- A pay and job freeze for administrators, estimated to save $1 million dollars.

- Athletics cuts totalling $200,000, which will mean more fundraising and possibly higher pay to play fees.

- $430,000 in transportation cuts with Dean Transportation.

My Town Kalamazoo: Promise scholarship expands to liberal arts colleges

My Town Kalamazoo: Promise scholarship expands to liberal arts colleges

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Students who receive the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship have even more college options available to them, beginning in the fall of 2015.

The Kalamazoo Promise is teaming up with the Michigan Colleges Alliance to allow scholars to attend any MCA liberal arts college or university in Michigan.  Eligible schools include Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Andrews University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Hillsdale College, University of Detroit Mercy, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Madonna University, Marygrove College, Olivet College, Siena Heights University and Spring Arbor University.  The Kalamazoo Promise board member Janice M. Brown says the partnership brings the number of eligible schools up to 58.  In each case, tuition and fees will be fully and jointly funded by The Kalamazoo Promise and MCA member institution.

My Town: Army of volunteers create new play space for children

My Town: Army of volunteers create new play space for children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of Grand Rapids children have a new place to play, thanks to an army of volunteers.

On June 13, more than 300 people from Amway,  Ellington Academy of Arts & Technology and KaBoom! pitched in to build a new playground at in front of the school, located at 600 Burton Street SE.  The volunteers spent several hours transforming children’s designs into a place to play. 

Dr. Marvin L. Sapp and other community leaders will celebrate the playground’s grand opening Tuesday, June 17 at 5 p.m., before officially welcoming children to play at the new site, which is the 16th of its kind built by Amway and KaBOOM.  

Committed to Influencing Today's Youth

Committed to Influencing Today's Youth

By Marla Miller

This story originally ran in the Grand Rapids Urban Innovation Exchange

With the mission to restore and refocus at-risk youth, Grand C.I.T.Y.

My Town: SMARTArt down to 20 semifinalists

My Town: SMARTArt down to 20 semifinalists

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— ArtPrize isn’t just for adults.

Nearly 50 Grand Rapids students are competing in the second annual SMARTArt competition, which will be highlighted during this year’s ArtPrize. SMART stands for Students Making Art with a Renewable Theme.  Last week, leaders from Grand Rapids Public Schools, Consumers Energy, ArtPrize and the city of Grand Rapids gathered to celebrate this year’s entries and announce the top 20 semifinalists.  This year’s list includes:

My Town: Kent County campaign spreads the word about free preschool

My Town: Kent County campaign spreads the word about free preschool
------------------------NEWS RELEASE---------------GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (First Steps Kent) – A collaborative team of parents, educators and advocates in Kent County launches a coordinated spring-summer marketing campaign for state-funded free preschool this week. Designed with bright colors, bold graphics, and adorable children, the materials focus on the benefit of preschool for little ones throughout the county. Campaign posters, flyers and yard signs will be shared by schools, preschools, doctors’ offices, salons, grocery stores and more—essentially, any organization serving parents of preschoolers. “We don’t have buckets of money for a big advertising push, so we are taking it to the streets with our amazing network of parent volunteers, community advocates, and grassroots activists,” said Judy Freeman, director of Great Start Collaborative for Kent County.

My Town: Cooley Law School's West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic receives honor

My Town: Cooley Law School's West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic receives honor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapid’s LINC Community Revitalization recently honored Cooley Law School’s West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic during the organization’s annual Community Spirit Award winners ceremony. 

The Public Defenders Clinic was presented with the Cornerstone Award, which honors an organization that best exemplifies the model of capacity building and demonstrates impact in a specific area.