Residents to Vote on Rebuilding East Lansing Schools

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

East Lansing residents have a big decision on their hands. Next Tuesday, they'll be asked to vote yes or no on a 53-million-dollar proposal to revamp schools within the district. Scott Carney, parent of East Lansing students. is urging residents to vote yes. For him, voting no could mean keeping the district behind.

"We will not attract the best teachers, attract the best students, attract the best community members and continue the East Lansing educational excellence," Carney said.

The proposal calls for rebuilding five elementary schools and closing Red Cedar.

"This will allow all of our elementary students to work out of updated facilities," said David Chapin, Superintendent of East Lansing Schools.

Chapin says it's about all students. The proposal also includes adding a wing to MacDonald Middle Shool for 6th graders and providing updated technology for all.

However, former East Lansing Mayor Liz Schweitzer thinks the cost of the changes will be too much.

"The bond itself is $53 million but the payback over 30 years really turns out to be more like $130 million. People I think are just not aware of the financial commitment that they're making," said Schweitzer.

She also says rebuilding schools in a short period of time would displace students. Instead, Schweitzer is calling for a closer look at student enrollment and a slower, sequential rebuild. To buy time, she's urging residents to vote no.


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