Board Votes to Keep Otto, Bingham Open, Close Harley Franks

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

In a pair of 8-1 votes, the Lansing School Board voted to keep C.W. Otto Middle School and Bingham Elementary School open next school year.

The votes came at the end of a nearly 6-hour-long meeting. The two schools were recommended to be closed by Lansing school adminstration just over two weeks ago.

However, the Board is considering an alternate set of school closings in the place of those two. At Monday's finance committee meeting, memebers of the Board proposed closing Wainwright Elementary and consolidating Wexford Elementary's Montessori program into Dwight Rich's new K-8 academy.

The Harley Franks Early Childhood Center will close its doors over the summer following an 7-1 vote. The move is expected to save the District $300,000. The programs at Harley Franks will be spread out to other elementary schools in Lansing.

The Board also voted 5-3 to cut two administrative positions. Director of communications and governmental relations Steve Serkaian and director of specialized programs Sergio Keck will have their contracts terminated at the end of June. Their two salaries combined are a combined $214,000, not including benefits.

Additionally, the Board is looking for a 10 percent pay cut and increased contributions to health benefits from 5 other members of Superintendent T.C. Wallace's cabinet.

The Lansing School District has been under intense pressure from a $25 million budget deficit.


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