GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — While student enrollment has stabilized at Grand Rapids Public Schools in recent years, the district is expecting a drop in the upcoming school year, which means losing state money. 

The anticipated loss is 200 students this fall. Combine that with the expected $180 state increase per student, it means an overall financial loss of $1.7 million in state aid for the district. 

Even though the district has made a lot of progress in recent years, district leaders still has some difficult decisions to make.

"We are getting calls across the country, saying 'What's the secret sauce in Grand Rapids.' We're fortunate we have a community who is reunited behind us. Even though we've still got some tough budgets, some tough decisions, they're not layoffs. There are no school closures," said John Helmholdt. 

Helmholdt adds that the district is also struggling with the state formula for calculating per student funds. 

He says there needs to be more given to districts like Grand Rapids that have higher costs with students who are special needs, English language learners and high poverty.

On Monday, June 17, there will be a public hearing on the school budget at 5:30 p.m. in the GRPS administration building on Franklin Street SW.

The school board will vote on the budget after the hearing. 

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