CADILLAC — In the four years Jennifer Brown has been the superintendent of Cadillac Area Public Schools there have been many firsts.

Those have mostly been positive but on Monday Brown mentioned a first that has made the budget process for the 2019-2020 school year a little more difficult. For the first time in her tenure as superintendent, the district’s budget is based on assumptions rather than finalized funding numbers from the state.

While the State of Michigan has had its budget finalized to allow school districts across the state to have actual funding amounts to base their budgets upon, this year that was not the case. As a result, the CAPS Board of Education adopted a budget that is in the amount of roughly $32.2 million by a vote of 4-0 with board members Elizabeth Rzepka-Alto, Gary Rexford and Eric Baker absent.

Prior to the Monday’s board meeting and again on Monday, Brown said it is likely the district will have to make amendments to the budget in the fall once the state’s budget is finalized.

Prior to the vote, board president Mike Stebbins said the budget for the upcoming fiscal year that starts on July 1 could be characterized as “realistic and responsible.‘

Also during the meeting, the school board voted 4-0 to give Brown a “highly effective‘ rating during her superintendent evaluation for the past school year.

Although not all seven members were at Monday’s meeting, board member Judy Coffey said 100% of the board member evaluations were turned in. She also said the bottom line was Brown is an innovator and showed growth in a couple areas which included communication with the board and her leadership not only within the district but also the community as a whole.

“As long as we have you for the next 25 years, I’m happy,‘ board vice president Steve Anderson said.

After the board comments, Brown said she was “blessed‘ to represent the board and the community and appreciated the positive remarks.

Cadillac News