LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Teachers in Lansing have a new contract that changes the way students will take art, music and gym. The district said it will save $6 million by eliminating planning periods for teachers and about 85 jobs.
Come fall, elementary music teachers will be history in the Lansing School District. But the music lessons won't be, they'll just be delivered in a different way.
"We'll be redesigning our art, music and p.e. programs to be able to include more people from the community, more artists in the community, more musicians in the community," said Yvonne Caamal Canul, the Lansing Superintendent.
Those artists will be contracted by the district to work with a certified classroom teacher.
"I think what's really unique about it is the fact that there will be professionals working in tandem with classroom teachers to provide not only the rich experience of the arts, but the integrated experience with english language arts, with social studies, with math so that the curriculum becomes more integrated," said Canul.
Not everyone thinks the money-saving plan will pay off for students.
"This is not a particularly good decision made by the Lansing Schools. I think that it's going to accelerate the student flight from the schools and so rather than pay for itself with those salaries, its going to have the exact opposite," said John Kratus, professor of music education at MSU.
Waverly's School Board also approved a new contract with its teachers on Thursday. This one will be for three years with the district operating under a $1.5 million deficit and no pay raises. However, it does include bonuses if teachers are able to improve their students' test scores on state-mandated tests.
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