Concessions help Lansing School District pass 2011-12 budget
By Kevin Lavery, WKAR News
Lansing, MI – The Lansing School District has approved a $173 million budget for the coming fiscal year. Employee layoffs and concessions eliminated the district's deficit.
The board's approval of the 2011-2012 budget came just hours after members wrapped up negotiations on concessions from several employee units. The final plan eliminates a $7.7 million deficit through some 200 layoffs, about half of which affect teachers. District employees also bridged the gap with benefit reductions and higher co-pays.
Still, district chief financial officer Venkat Saripalli says the concessions are only a short term solution.
"It helps us have one more year so that the board, the community, the staff can get together and really try to balance the budget...because next year, we're going to be in the same situation again," says Saripalli.
Two board members voted no on ratifying the agreements. Board member Jack Davis said the district bargained away many management rights, including the ability to deal with non-economic labor issues.