UPDATE: EL School Board Votes To Repurpose Red Cedar - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

UPDATE: EL School Board Votes To Repurpose Red Cedar


UPDATE: The East Lansing School Board voted 5-2 last night to shut down Red Cedar Elementary School.

Original Script:

East Lansing's School Board could vote to shut down Red Cedar Elementary tonight.

The idea of closing Red Cedar Elementary School has caused some controversy because it is one of the most diverse schools in the East Lansing School District. The closure raised questions of racial discrimination and prompted a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Education.

If the district votes to close Red Cedar tonight, it would be re-purposed to host pre-kindergarten and developmental classes as well as house the districts administration building staff. The districts 6th graders would move to Macdonald Middle School, which would then form a 6th through 8th grade middle school. Donely, Glencairn, Marble, Pinecrest and Whitehills Elementary Schools would all become kindergarten through 5th grade.

The school board says the restructuring plan will help lower costs and better utilize their facilities. Originally, the school board planned to close Red Cedar by 2016, but now that the district has sold its administrative building, the decision could come as soon as 2013.

"There's been no substantive sharing with the public about financial figures, about the impact on other elementary schools, which there surely will be," said Elizabeth Scheitzer, former East Lansing mayor.

Earlier this year, voters rejected a bond proposal that would have closed an elementary school. 

Board President Rima Addiego says the least number of neighborhood students attend Red Cedar and that if the population in the area happens to increase in the next few years, then Red Cedar would remain part of the East Lansing Public School system.

"Nothing is being done that can't be undone. A future board could make a determination at that time to use it for further grades than just preschool," said Addiego.

Addiego says the district's superintendent is already working on an ad hoc committee of teachers, administrators and parents.

The board will vote at 7p.m. Monday.



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