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Michigan Schools Face Budget Troubles

A fight over the K-12 education budget in the Michigan legislature could have dire consequences for the state's school districts if no resolution comes soon.

Because the legislature didn't pass a new education budget before the new fiscal year started Oct. 1, the state department of education says it has no legal authority to process the millions in federal funding it passes along to school districts each week.

The state passes along about $43 million in a two-week period, according to The Detroit News.

Steve Wasko, spokesman for Detroit schools, the state's largest school district, told District Dossier the budget crunch would have serious consequences for the school district.

"This could have an immediate impact on more than 2,000 DPS staff members, including more than 1,000 classroom teachers," he said in an e-mail. "The $10 million to $20 million processed monthly by the state for DPS children funds preschool programs, noon-hour aides, after-school programs, security guards, social workers, vocational staff and support for lower class sizes, reading recovery and ninth-grade restructuring."

In a statement, Mike Flanagan, the state's superintendent of public instruction, said he was hopeful the legislature would pass a continuing resolution before week's end.

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