Proposed Millage Would Help Repair Lansing Schools

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

1937. That's when Otto Middle School was built, and much of the building hasn't been touched since.

Lansing School District Chief Operations Officer Brian Ralph says facilities are aging, and current systems are obsolete.

Otto Assistant Principal Anthony Greenburg says the school's ancient heating system doesn't always do its job.

"It can be too cold if the heat's not working," he said. "Students can't succeed in that kind of environment."

But the temperature isn't their only complaint. There's also a leaking problem.

"Some of these things are safety issues when you have rain literally pouring in buckets in the classroom," he said.

That's why the distrcit has a millage on the November ballot that'd create a building site and sinking fund. The district says it would cost the average household about 75 dollars a year.

"That's the kind of small investment we're asking people to make for the future of Lansing, most important, for the students of Lansing," Ralph said.

The district's pitch might sound familiar. That's because you've probably seen it in the mail. Some voters are getting up to three fliers a day.

The district says it spends four million general fund dollars a year on energy--costs the millage would offset.

"You can reduce that cost and have all that kind of money channeled back into the classroom where it is most deserved," he said.

The money would also fix parking lots and classrooms.

"She literally has holes in the tiles of the floors where on a regular basis, students are tripping, falling down in the classroom," Greenburg said, describing the situation in one classroom.

Otto Middle School isn't the only one that needs repair.

The district says there are 31 buildings that would benefit from the fund.

By law the money could only go toward repair--not teacher salaries, balancing the budget, or anything else.

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 2, 2010 at 05:03 AM
    Dig deep folks, obviously the city thinks we all have gold in our pockets and they want it! I know the schools need refurbishing, but you don't do it when most of the city is strugling just to make ends meet.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 1, 2010 at 12:40 PM
    Not every household can afford $75.00 a month, they have no job and are just trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Thi is a bad time to be asking for money. We built Hill HS and used it one year, and we just built Pantingil. Where are we suppose to find this extra money???
  • by lansing on Oct 31, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    does this mean if lansing gets the money for repairs to buildings, that the teachers are going to start doing their job and teaching the kids of lansing. Lansing students education scores are the worst in years. Lansing schools need to get their stuff together before asking cor more money.
  • by david Location: charlotte on Oct 30, 2010 at 10:17 AM
    ya some not all vote no
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Oct 30, 2010 at 07:01 AM
    Here we go again! These clowns try and make a person feel guilty by saying it is "ONLY" 75 dollars etc. Sorry, but you have to live with what you got. Years of neglect were caused by paying outlandish wages instead of proper budgeting. Reduce wages and benefits and live withn your means like every one else has to do. I for one am tired of all the governmental groups trying to bleed the taxpayers even more! Lack of planning on your part, does NOT create an emergency on my part! Thank you. Ricardo
  • by John Location: Lansing on Oct 30, 2010 at 03:24 AM
    Mike, Like most of the general population you have no idea how schools are funded. Sure, lotter profits go to the schools, but in its entire existence the lottery has only provided one year, yes one year of funding for schools, approx $13 Billion. Back in 1992 when Prop A was passed (a big scam by the way) funding for schools was shifted to come from sales tax, remember when it was 4%? Most schools use their State School Aid (Sales tax and very little lottery profits) to fund their general operations, and not for their capital needs. Schools as the voters to proivde additional funding for those items. Lastly the state collects teh SET through property taxes to divy up to the schools, it ususally says school operating on your tax bill. What do those voting no suggest as an alternative? The State Constitution provides for a 'free' education.
  • by Joe Location: Lansing on Oct 29, 2010 at 10:55 PM
    No MORE millages until they fix the corruption and mis management of money in the school system. I want transparency. From now on when I vote on a millage I want to know exactly what it is for and the money is only allowed to be used for that and has a cut off date. No more millages saying we need to fix the schools. I want details and in writing. But right now No more money needs to go into a fund that too many hands have control over.
  • by linda Location: lansing on Oct 29, 2010 at 08:14 PM
    hear what i say NO
  • by mike Location: lansing on Oct 29, 2010 at 05:57 PM
    It's not like the added tax of 75$or150$ is all we pay add that to what we already pay,Way to much i am a senior on fixed income can'nt afford any more what happened to the lotto paying into the schools.I will vote NO and hope i have alot of company.I think i will.
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