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City leaders chastise Lansing school board

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero urges city school board members to put aside their differences to solve a $25 million budget crisis. Bernero is flanked by former Lansing mayor David Hollister (left) and MSU trustee Joel Ferguson. Photo: Mark Bashore, WKAR
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero urges city school board members to put aside their differences to solve a $25 million budget crisis. Bernero is flanked by former Lansing mayor David Hollister (left) and MSU trustee Joel Ferguson. Photo: Mark Bashore, WKAR

By Kevin Lavery, WKAR News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-967234.mp3

Lansing, MI – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and other civic leaders are calling on the city school board to put aside their differences to fix the district's budget deficit. They're concerned about the image the board is projecting to the community.

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The Lansing school district is trying to close a $25 million deficit for the 2011-2012 school year. The board has already approved the closure of Woodcreek Elementary and the Harley Franks Early Childhood Center. But the board's relationship with superintendant T.C. Wallace is strained...and that's got mayor Virg Bernero's attention.

"They have got a short window here to get their acts together and to solve this budget crisis," Bernero says. "And the problem is, it's not that they're arguing about what to do, they're arguing about their roles. Some of the board members are trying to superimpose themselves almost, in a sense, acting like the superintendant. That doesn't work."

Bernero says the community expects the board members to do their jobs and work together.

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