Lansing Teachers Approve Pay Cut

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Lansing teachers vote overwhelmingly to defer a 1/4 of their expected percent raise to guarantee no teacher layoffs this year.

So ends 2005 for the Lansing School District--the final step of climbing out of $1.2 million hole.

The agreement, on it's way to approval thanks to this "yes" vote from the teachers union, makes up part of the shortfall with the $500,000 in deffered raises for teachers. $700,000 came from administrative cuts.

But it's a temporary fix.

"The school board has already prepared us that things will be difficult next fall," explains Jerry Swartz, president of the Lansing Schools Education Association.

The reality: the district is shrinking by leaps and bounds. The administration estimated they'd lose about 350 students this year. They lost more than 800.

That means the teachers who won't be fired thanks to the union's vote this week are still in a precarious position. Swartz says they should be considering other options for next year, while hoping for the best.

To that end, Superitendent Banks says they're working on customer service, for parents.

"We need to do a better job of letting them know they're wanted, needed, a full-fledged partner," Banks says.