Breaking the Budget Deficit Cycle at LSD

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Another year, another budget deficit for the Lansing School District. This time it's $18 million.

"We are in uncharted waters," Superintendent TC Wallace said. "We have never had to deal with the financial crisis like we've had to deal with today."

And next years budget looks like more of the same....decreasing students and funding. Some say now is the time to make fundamental changes to get out of this cycle.

Changes many thought would come from the CATFR Committee's recommendations -- which the superintendent originally accepted in its entirety -- until new high schools, elementary schools and a strict discipline academy were taken off the table for financial reasons.

"We didn't back off," Wallace said. "Those things were so far out into the future, we couldn't reasonably guess with the economy changing every year, what it would look like five years out."

Plus relieving confusion in the community Wallace said.

"What we said was we didn't want them to be confused, a lot of the time it's like overload," he said.

So the repositioning idea, it seems, is put on the back burner for now.

"We didn't accept the closing of two schools," Lansing School Board President Hugh Clarke said. "The board didn't want to put 4,000 kids in one high school. No one has told me how that would help."

But make no mistake, Clarke said, the administration and the board did accept some recommendations and did make changes for next year.

"If you look at the aligning of the curriculum, making them title one buildings -- which means some more funding now will come from the government. That's a big deal," Clarke said.

There's no right answer, they said, when everyone is in uncharted territory.

The district hopes the curriculum changes will improve test scores.
All three Lansing high schools have not made "adequate yearly progress" for the past five years.


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  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:52 AM
    Congratulations on your highly advanced degree, your dream job in Lansing, and your consummate use of the Caps Lock. On topic, however, I am one of the "senior teachers" of whom you wrote. If you read closely, I did not mention the good teachers, I mentioned only the teachers who do nothing any longer. My point is valid, and it is a very good way to decrease expenses and benefit the kids at the same time. Good bye.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 4, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    Hey Kelly IT'S ME AGAIN!! Now that, was yelling. I am a teacher too. I have a master's degree in elementary education. Here's the kicker, I achieved my dream job of teaching in the LSD ten years ago. That's right, I actually chose my life's work to be making a difference for children who really need me. I love working for the Lansing School District. Just like any other district, there are challenges, but we are a family. We stick together. We look towards our senior teachers for wisdom instead of pushing them out the door. And as far as teacher bashing goes, that is exactly what your first comment did. Show some respect to the teachers who have put in their time and still feel as though they have more left to give!
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Jun 3, 2009 at 05:51 PM
    "If LPS wants to be the best in the county, they need the support of all of parents." That is absolutely the truth. It's horrible when two parents show up out of a class of 26 kids. Unfortunately, it's normal.
  • by Pam Location: Jackson on Jun 3, 2009 at 02:01 PM
    If LPS wants to be the best in the county, they need the support of all of parents.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2009 at 11:59 AM
    "KELLY, WAY TO BRING MORE FAMILIES INTO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT-TEACHER BASHING.GROW UP." First of all, stop typing in all caps. That is considered yelling. Second, I AM a teacher, so "teacher bashing" is not an issue. Go get an education, "Anonymous". What I spoke of is all from personal observation.
  • by Rachael Location: East Lansing on Jun 3, 2009 at 11:19 AM
    I used to be a teacher, and retired after 2 years of teaching in an urban setting. From my experience, I found the older teachers to be more helpful and respected than the typical 23 year old straight out of university. Plus,education must start in the home,and with the backgrounds and baggage that several of LSD students come to school with,it's no wonder that test scores are low. No one should ever DARE to put the blame on a teacher who willingly chooses the career to educate. Instead, one should look at the group being educated,and the parents or guardians who are responsible to set an example for their children. However,from the little experience that I have had in the LSD,and from the students/guradians that I have come in contact with,it's no wonder why we are in this crises. Students rule the schools and disciplne is scarce,with that combination,little can be taught. Schools are not free babysitters,and I give any teacher in the LSD alot of credit for trying to educate those kids
  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2009 at 09:03 AM
    KELLY, WAY TO BRING MORE FAMILIES INTO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT-TEACHER BASHING.GROW UP.
  • by Marie Location: East Lansing on Jun 3, 2009 at 06:58 AM
    How do you know those teachers "do nothing"? Personal experience?
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Jun 3, 2009 at 06:14 AM
    A good start to this deficit reduction: get rid of the teachers who should have retired 10 years ago! There are teachers who have been in the LSD since 1966-68 and need to GO because they do NOTHING at school anymore. I know 3 teachers off the top of my head who are useless. That would be money saved!
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