LANSING, Mich. —

Michigan’s public schools will likely be required to make more of their financial information available on the Internet, providing taxpayers a glimpse into budgets that will be slashed by $382 million this fall.

The budget bill approved by lawmakers cuts funding for K-12 schools by about $165 per student. School officials said the cuts will lead to layoffs and more districts operating under deficits, though they acknowledged that the cuts could have been more severe.

The bill, which provides the state aid portion for the schools’ budgets, is expected to be signed soon by Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Overall, K-12 education will get about 3 percent less this academic year than during 2008-09.

The legislation passed by the Legislature late Thursday includes several policy changes that would affect how schools operate. Among them is the requirement to include a link from Internet home pages to detailed budget information.

“We have for the first time a transparency requirement that’s going to let the public know exactly how school districts are spending their money,” said Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer of Kewadin, the top-ranked Republican in the House.

The plan requires districts to post pie charts breaking down spending by categories. Schools also must list compensation information for employees paid more than $100,000 a year, include copies of labor union contracts, provide information about employee health care plans, post lobbying expenditures and link to financial audits.

The requirement adds an undetermined, likely modest expense for schools that will vary by district. Schools already were required to provide links to their annual budgets and some already post much of the budget information required by the new bill.

Those budgets soon will lose millions of dollars, which school officials say will lead to layoffs, crowded classrooms and fewer preschool programs. More districts could face severe financial trouble as they struggle with falling enrollment and a lingering recession.

Detroit schools, the state’s largest district with nearly 86,000 students, will lose $14 million under the budget plan. Saginaw schools are set to lose nearly $1.5 million, Ann Arbor schools lose nearly $2.7 million and Alpena schools, with about 4,300 students, more than $718,000.

About 25 of Michigan’s 840 school districts, intermediate school districts and public school academies are already operating with deficits. The reduced funding could force roughly 95 more to exhaust their financial reserves and go into the red, said Brad Biladeau, government relations director for the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

The Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, acknowledges the cuts could have been worse. A $218-per-student cut was on the table just a week ago.

“But the lack of a full investment in public schools is disturbing, especially since the vast majority of our legislators ran for office touting the importance of education to our economic recovery,” MEA President Iris Salters said in a statement.

The legislation eliminates the $1.4 million set aside for school bus inspections, but schools still will be required to make the inspections. Schools will have to come up with the cash from other areas of their budget.

Some early childhood development grants will be reduced. Grants to help create small high schools and money for math and science centers will be scaled back.

Schools will have the flexibility to trim the $165 per student spending from programs of their choosing as long as they agree to a service consolidation plan aimed at reducing overall costs.

“That is a real step forward,” Elsenheimer said.

The push for consolidation comes as enrollment in Michigan’s public schools has fallen from more than 2 million students in the late 1970s to about 1.6 million today.

Most Michigan state departments are operating under a temporary budget that expires Oct. 31. Lawmakers missed their Oct. 1 deadline to balance the budget and erase a $2.8 billion deficit and instead adopted a continuation budget.

Granholm has signed yearlong budget bills covering community colleges, courts and the state department for military and veterans’ affairs. But Republicans who control the Senate have refused to send the Democratic governor some other budget bills because they are worried she will veto them.

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