School Board Passes Motion, Red Cedar To No Longer Be Elementary School

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

It's official. Red Cedar Elementary will no longer be a school as the East Lansing School Board approved a motion that will reconfigure the district.

The 5-2 vote came around 12:30 a.m., Tuesday, more than five hours after the deciding meeting began.

From the moment the first of the public took the stand, the message was clear, don't take the students out of Red Cedar Elementary.

As the East Lansing School Board meeting got underway, Monday night, Superintendent David Chapin addressed the somber crowd. He gave his reasons for changing the school largely into an administration building, starting in the Fall of 2014.

"I believe this is a simple matter of the location of students in our community," said Chapin. "Of the 274 students enrolled on the fall count day of this year, 28 or about ten percent, reside in the Red Cedar residential area."

But the public fired back, including members of the Red Cedar staff, many of whom signed a letter asking the superintendent and school board to keep their community together.

Mary Weaver, a fourth grade teacher at Red Cedar, says a plan to move all of the students to nearby Glencairn wouldn't work and would split up the school.

"It is our understanding that it has now been determined that if we move, our school of choice families would not go with us to Glencairn, but instead be relocated to other schools," said Weaver.

Others argue that the motion has already been defeated when the public voted down a bond proposal back in February.

"The bond vote in part strongly suggested the community did not approve of the board's decision to close Red Cedar," said one woman who lives near the school.

Chapin says, this motion is different from the failed proposal.

"It's different by $53 million," said Chapin. "That's a big difference."

However, many in attendance at the meeting disagreed and believe the board should waited to make a decision until January. That is when two new board members, who oppose closing the school, will take their seats.


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