East Lansing School board rescinds plans to reopen Red Cedar Elementary

UPDATE: 11:21 p.m. – Red Cedar Elementary School will not be opening any time soon. That decision came Monday night, after the East Lansing School Board unanimously voted to rescind it’s motion from December, which approved the school to re-open.

At their last meeting, East Lansing School Board Members approved a budget re-vision that would allow the school district to reallocate more than $500,000 from this year’s budget, in order to re-open the elementary school.

However, the idea caused a lot of controversy, sparking mixed emotions among student’s parents, and prompted more than 700 people to sign a petition against it.

But at Monday night’s meeting, the mood was a little different, as the board took a step back from moving forward on it.

“That’s really what we asked for all along is we wanted a plan,” Steve Lathom said. He has kids who attend East Lansing Schools. “We wanted to recognize that there are a lot of moving pieces, there are tradeoffs and there are difficult decisions to be made.”

So now, it’s back to the drawing board for board members, as they all agreed to suspend plans to reopen the elementary school.

The room was crowded with parents and teachers wearing stickers with the word “STOP” anxiously waiting for an answer.

The end result is happier than previous meetings, bringing hope to many.

“I believe that more research, more data, a meeting with parents, and committees and teachers in the community is really going to get us where we need to be,” Rebecca McAndrews said. Not only is she an East Lansing School parent, but she teaches at Donley Elementary.

The board has now turned it’s focus to coming up with a concrete plan to help build success for all schools in the district.

‘To try to get a successful community supported bond moving forward,” Nell Kuhnmuench, President of the East Lansing School Board said. “To look at our elementary facilities, look at what our capacity is, look at how we can best do what will best serve the students of our East Lansing School District.”

And while the fight may seem over for many who were concerned for their kids future, there’s still some unrest among parents who are anxious for that progress to happen.

“This has been a painful couple of months, a boisterous couple of weeks and so it’s natural that there’s going to be some skepticism and I think it’s going to take a while to re-build trust,” Lathom said. “I’m very encouraged by what happened this evening, but at the same time I recognize that everybody’s going to have to work together to overcome those hurt feelings and we’re going to have to all work hard.”

The board talked about plans to form a committee Monday night in order to come up with a budget plan for the entire district. It will look at all the schools, and not just one of them.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for February 22nd.

 

EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The East Lansing School Board has rescinded plans to reopen Red Cedar Elementary School.

Back in June of 2014, the school was closed down because of budget issues, after it was deemed that not enough students were enrolled in the district.

That move, caused controversy in East Lansing, forcing school officials to re-configure the district.

Most recently in December 2015, the board voted to re-open Red Cedar Elementary School by the fall of 2016, without a financial plan in place.

Now the board has voted unanimously to rescind that plan and all plans related to reopening the elementary school.

6 News Reporter Alexandra Ilitch was at the board meeting Monday night. She’ll have more on 6 News at 11.

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