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Lansing School Board Works to Make Ends Meet

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Tough decisions ahead for Lansing's School Board as they work to figure out how to make ends meet.

Last week, Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul laid out her worst case scenario. She said if the district did absolutely nothing, it would be nearly $10 million in debt next year. That would mean cuts in staffing and to programs like art, music and physical education.

The superintendent of Lansing schools says the district needs to change how it operates to avoid cutting more than $10 million dollars in services over the next few years.

Nick Perreault spoke with Y'vonne Caamal Canul about the possible changes that could come to the district.

It's a fund that Lansing's superintendent Y'vonne Caamal Canul says should be used for emergencies not everyday use.

"The idea is you don't live off your saving's account, you have it for a rainy day and so far the district has been living off the saving's account," said Superintendent Y'vonne Caamal Canul.

Because of that the district now faces a deficit and will likely be forced to cut 12 million dollars from their budget over the next three years, which means everything is on the table in terms of cuts.

"Going wherever we can to maintain our core mission which is instruction," Superintendent Canul said.

The superintendent says one thing the district will look to cut, schools supplies by as much as ten percent.

School board member Shirley Rodgers says a big concern for her are union contracts, which are set to expire June 30th of this year.

"We have to negotiate collective bargaining agreements with all of our employees so obviously cost cutting in that arena, since that's about 80 percent of our budget, so we're going to talk about that," said School Board Member Shirley Rodgers.

And Rodgers says the district may look to cut administrative costs as well.

"I don't know we can make other cuts there, but we are going to ask the question."

To see if there are any savings to be had and it may require a more comprehensive plan, one vice president Nicole Armbruster approves.

"She's really looking long term instead of kicking the can down the road and a lot of things we are looking at is with a two to five year budget, where we are looking long term," Armbruster said.

Superintendent Canul says they can only do that when everybody within the district works together.

 

As this point, the district doesn't plan on restructuring or closing any schools as part of this plan.

The superintendent's executive team is expected to meet Friday with members from the teachers association to begin negotiations.

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