Superintendent Explains Recommending School Closings

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

It's the report students, parents and teachers all over the district have been waiting to hear.

"We have identified two schools that will be before the board for discussion this evening," says Lansing Superintendent T.C. Wallace.

Thursday evening Wallace will officially recommend that Moores Park Elementary and Grand River Elementary be shuttered come next year.

Mt. Hope Elementary, which had been on the chopping block, is off-- for now.

"There will be subsequent decisions to close additional schools. This is not the cure-all," Wallace says. "We will be back in the same situation next year."

The Superintendent says the decision to close Grand River and Moores Park , but keep Mt. Hope open, comes down to how much the community uses the schools.

"The value at Mt. Hope was expressly higher than at the other two sites," he says.

He calls it the "community value" factor.

Along with other criteria like enrollment and structure quality, he says community value was the tipping point-- and there just isn't enough of it at these two schools to justify the cost of keeping them open.

"That was the difference," says Wallace.

The district will be saving $600,000 if they close those schools-- though Wwallace admits this alone will not fix achievement issues.

"It's a bigger picture. Closing schools is a small part of the process," he says, though it will have a big impact.

If the schools close, Wallace says staff and administration will hopefully be reassigned to different schools based on seniority.

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