Teacher layoffs authorized in EL

EAST LANSING, MI – The East Lansing School Board has authorized superintendant David Chapin to issue layoff notices to as many as 12 teachers.

The district is facing a decrease in state funding, and Chapin says the possible layoffs are just one action being considered. Chapin says three administrators might also lose their jobs.

The vote to authorize layoff notices is meant to comply with union contract language requiring 30 days notice.

Chapin says he's hoping some funding is restored to K-through-12 schools by lawmakers next month.

"The legislature will be back in session on December 1, 2, and 3; December 8 and 9," Chapin says. "We've been led to believe that there is going to be some activity in terms of school funding; we're not quite certain what the outcome will be, but we're in anticipation of some activity there."

Chapin says the budget picture has improved recently. A deficit once pegged at two-million dollars has shrunk to $1.2 million. The district will get more per-pupil funding because enrollment is up.

Being declared ineligible for some funds has also made East Lansing schools eligible for funding aimed at at-risk students.

Cecilia Anderson of the East Lansing Education Association says teacher morale has been affected by the possibility of layoffs. She says younger teachers are worried about their jobs, and there's concern about the likelyhood of larger class sizes.