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Lansing school board may consider closing schools in 2 weeks

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
CORRECTION: The three students pictured are the officers of the Junior board of education. One is an Everett High School student, another is an Eastern High School student and the third is a Pattengill Middle School Student.

The Lansing school district may decide in two weeks whether it will close schools to save money.

The school district is considering ways to restructure to deal with a declining enrollment and diminishing state aid.

Last night, the Lansing school board heard from people opposed to any plans to close schools. Lansing resident Richard Kibbee  says the school board should not take the recommendations for which schools to close from a superintendent who is retiring in a few months.

“(Dr. T.C. Wallace will) take the heat but (he'll) leave town," says Kibbee, "that leaves the new superintendent with a clean, but bloody plate.”   

But school board president Myra Ford says there's no reason to wait.  

“You have to understand this is not something that’s new to the board," says Ford, "We didn’t just get information on the fact that we need to make a decision about this. This has been coming and it’s been something that’s been talked about for three or four years at least.”     

Ford expects the school board should make a decision on school closings by the end of this month. Though outgoing superintendent T.C. Wallace says a restructuring plan may not be ready until February 2nd.   

Opponents say the decision is coming too fast and should be left until the district hires a new school superintendent, which should happen in the coming months.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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