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Ten Lansing schools to receive state support following report on poor performance

Lansing Public School District superintendent Ben Shuldiner speaks at the administration building.
Arjun Thakkar
Lansing Public School District Superintendent Ben Shuldiner speaks at the administration building to address a report from the Michigan Department of Education.

The Michigan Department of Education has released a report that says 10 schools in the Lansing Public School District will receive aid from the state due to poor performance.

The district held a press conference Wednesday to respond to the report and explain its plans to improve outcomes for students. Multiple administrators, teachers, and union members were present at the meeting.

The state evaluated schools based on factors including attendance, test scores and graduation rates. The department says the schools will receive state support to improve academic outcomes.

Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said he acknowledges the district is underserving students. He added Lansing schools are already working on fixing systemic issues.

"This district is not shirking its responsibilities," Shuldiner said. "We know that this is an issue, but what the community should understand and should be pleased with is that we are making great strides.”

Shuldiner, who became superintendent last year, said the district has been making changes that haven’t yet been reflected in the state’s data. He points to universal pre-K, a department to assist instructors and a new district-wide strategic plan as promising changes. That plan includes a goal of having an 85% high school graduation rate by 2027.

He also said the nearly $130 million bond residents approved in May will help fund repairs and air conditioning installations across the district, providing a better learning environment for students.

The superintendent thanked families for sending their children to Lansing Public Schools and said he wants to be available to hear their comments and concerns.

“You can trust that in the next three to five years, this district is going to be so much better," Shuldiner said.

The Lansing School Board is set to adopt the plan at its meeting Thursday evening.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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