Lansing School District's Deficit Climbs

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email
District proposes dipping into rainy day fund.

Nevada education budget meeting

The Lansing School District's been saving up for a rainy day, and this this is the year it's pouring.

"The budget that's being presented tonight will propose cuts of $17.56 million," says Hugh Clarke, president of the Lansing School Board.

"It's very tough," says Venkat Saripalli, chief financial officer for the Lansing School District. "We will be proposing using $2.66 million from the rainy day fund."

The district's deficit climbing for several reasons, says Superintendent T.C. Wallace, Jr., one being issues with state funding for full day kindergarten.

"We had a determination by the state of Michigan that we no longer would be able to support our kindergarten program out of categorical funding," Wallace says.

Lansing's already put Moores Park and Grand River elementaries on the chopping block: both are closing at the end of the school year. Plus, 170 teachers and staff have already been laid off.

Adding to that, now, a 10% cut in departments across the board.

"It's a bad position for any school district," says Clarke. "This budget is designed to have as little impact as possible on classroom instruction"

The district must now slash a budget already cut to the bone, to manage what Wallace calls an "unprecedented" deficit.

"It's new ground," he says. "It's new territory in terms of the dollar amount -- it's huge and we're barely surviving. We are at a point that greater reductions will impact students in classrooms." is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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