LANSING, Mich. — Chided by the city mayor for appearing to be in “chaos,” Lansing School District trustees say they will find a way to cut $25 million from the district budget, though their chief financial officer is skeptical, according to Lansing State Journal reports.

Board trustees recently rejected an administration proposal as well as their own previous ideas on further school closings, though they did vote to issue layoff notices for up to 325 district employees, the Journal reported. They need to cut between $19.7 million and $24.8 million in order to present a balanced budget to the state by June 30, according to the Journal.

“There is no way I see we can present a balanced budget. There are some major issues,” Chief Financial Officer Venkat Saripalli said at a recent meeting, according to the Journal.

More than $12 million of the proposed cuts depend on wage concessions from the district’s labor unions, which must be negotiated, the Journal reported.

The board asked Saripalli for a line-item budget to review, according to the Journal. Saripalli said that would encompass 45,000 items, a level of detail he termed “ridiculous,” the Journal reported.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said at a separate meeting that the public “... needs to see something approaching competence and consensus” from the school board, the Journal reported.

SOURCES:
Lansing State Journal, “Lansing school board promises to balance budget despite CFO’s misgivings,” May 6, 2011

Lansing State Journal, “Bernero, other leaders to Lansing school board: Shape up,” May 6, 2011

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “School Funding in Michigan: Common Myths

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