Cuts Imminent for Schools

By: Katie Kim Email
By: Katie Kim Email

"Biding time is not really working for us," said East Lansing School District's Superintendent David Chapin.

And time has nearly run out for Chapin. He, along with the school board, will decide on deep midyear cuts to account for what Chapin calls an "unprecendented" budget deficit.

"It could require layoffs of teachers. It could require notification to students and families about bussing," Chapin said.

School cuts aren't as large as initially thought. But East Lansing schools are still looking at a $1 million shortfall, which could mean potential cuts to custodial staff, librarians, athletic and music programs.

"For me to be in front making these recommendations that really philosophically I don't support, our school board doesn't support, but we have an obligation to the student body and the community to maintain the integrity of the school district," said Chapin.

William Mayes, Executive Director from the Michigan Association of School Administrators said the future for districts across the state looks bleak.

"The bottom line is there comes a point in time when it affects student programs," said Mayes. "That's happening right now, this year. And next year it will be even greater."

Mayes said the bottom line is for the state government to reform and find a stable revenue source.

"Michigan needs to sort out how to find a stable funding source not just for education but for all of its services," Mayes said.

No matter what gets cut, administrators agree that it'll hurt.

"We know how critical a good teacher in a classroom is, so we try to protect those as much as we can," Mayes said. "But every cut that you make, when you cut privatized custodians, that affects your community. These are community members."

Whatever is decided at the school board meeting Monday night, the cuts need to be implemented by Jan. 25. Many districts need to make a decision, so they can plan for their next fiscal year.


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