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."

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  • by Kerri Location: DeWitt on Jun 3, 2009 at 05:27 PM
    Mary and Anonymous down there who called people from the suburbs snobs - You 2 are hypocrites! You can't take it when some people come on this board that don't agree with you. You think they are not giving Lansing enough credit. Ok, so be it. But then you turn around and accuse all people from the suburbs of being small-minded snobs! Do you hear yourself? It's not ok for them so say anything bad but it's sure the heck ok for you to rip someone apart because of where they live! Such hypocrites!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2009 at 01:58 PM
    You've got to hand it to officials that we have now. They have been jerked around by the governor and the dems on funding for years. They still maintain status quo for all of these years.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lansing on Jun 3, 2009 at 01:19 PM
    Yep, Lansing is such a wonderful place to educate our children. I guess that's why so many people have left, schools have closed and teachers are being laid off. All you have to do is look at who's running the place.
  • by Sarah Location: lansing on Jun 3, 2009 at 10:54 AM
    I grew up in Holt and saw all the shady things that went on there, hall monitor that supplied kids with drugs, kids caught with drugs in class but not punished. I chose to put my 3 children in the Lansing School District and all 3 of my children are at the top of their classes and would give any kid at any district, a run for their money. Lansing is not perfect and either is Holt or any other district. We've got to do our best for ALL of these children.
  • by Bill Location: Delta Twp. on Jun 3, 2009 at 10:27 AM
    Look whos running the show, from the super to the board.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2009 at 09:12 AM
    When was the last time you visited any Lansing schools Mealnie or Becky? This school district is comparable to any other. In fact, some parents from smaller districts such as Portland and Eaton Rapids actually chose Lansing schools as their school of choice. I think credit needs to be given where credit is due. Lansing schools are cutting edge. If you can't deal with that, then maybe it's better if you leave your closed-minded snobbish way of thinking in other school districts. We are trying to raise well-rounded highly educated children here!
  • by Becky Location: Holt on Jun 3, 2009 at 08:15 AM
    You know what Mary, I grew up in the Lansing School District so don't tell me or anyone else how great Lansing schools are! I watched people get stabbed, beat up, bullied and lay in a coma in the hospital! Go walk the halls of Sexton and then come back and tell everyone how great it is! No school district is perfect especially Lansing! You have a lot of nerve ragging on the suburbs. If you had a brain you'd go and look at the test scores of all the area districts. Lansing is awful! (shhhh don't tell anyone though) And if you think there are no drugs in Lansing, dream on!
  • by Mary Location: Lansing on Jun 2, 2009 at 07:34 PM
    My kids go to Lansing, and they are receiving a 1st rate education. Only snobs from the suburbs would make such sweeping statements about Lansing Schools in order to make them selves feel better. Lansing schools had the toughest graduation requirements in the area, unlike the suburban schools. And it was the suburb schools who had cops in school years before Lansing even considered it. (Shhh: let's not tell folks about the drug use by students in suburban schools.)
  • by Melanie Location: Dewitt on Jun 2, 2009 at 06:01 PM
    If Lansing schools were any good, you could feel sorry for them. As a parent of a former Lansing school student, I can say they are the WORST district around. For a capital city school district they have to rate right at the bottom. If there weren't the need for cops in the schools and the teachers were of any caliber, students wouldn't be leaving in droves. They have no one to blame but themselves for this one. Granholms switcheroo about education is also a problem. Let's give the schools money to help out, no let's take it from them because my decisions for the state have been horribly wrong. Soon we'll be back to one room school houses because we can't fund or run the variety we have today. BUT Granholm then sets some of the highest graduation standards of any state. On top of allowing individual schools to ADD weird classes and rules to graduate. NO MONEY, Strange Graduation requirements, violence in schools equals TROUBLE. BTW wasn't there stimulus money for education?? Where is it
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