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Lansing school officials, lawmakers pushing back on possible school closings

Posted: 8:02 PM, Aug 19, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-19 20:02:03-04

The state is expected to release a new list of failing schools by September 1st. Schools on that list, including nine Lansing schools, could be forced to close next year.

Current List of Priority Schools: More than 100 Michigan schools are listed as failing

"Public schools in the state of Michigan have been put the ringer," said Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. at a conference Friday. " With policy after policy and mandate after unfunded mandate."

With lawmakers like Hertel Jr. by their side, the Lansing School District is pushing back again on possible closings.

"We in the Lansing School District are here for the long haul," Superintendet Yvonne Caamal Canul said. "This is where we're from and where we plan to stay."

District leaders are hoping Michigan's School Reform Office meet with them after a first attempt failed when the district came with lawyers.

"The school reform office cancelled the meeting on the spot and reschedule it asking us a little more time so they could bring the attorney general's office into the next scheduled meeting. Apparently, that meeting will not happen as well," Caamal Canul told us earlier this week.

As of Friday she's still waiting for a meeting, "they are good people who are trying to implement an ill conceived law with no process."

That process of using data from the MEAP and MSTEP tests to schools on the state's failing list blindsided lawmakers as much as it did school officials.

"We are at the end of August and the school reform office is now looking at schools looking at these hundred or so schools," Rep. Andy Schor said. "Eight or so in Lansing and deciding which ones they might close. That's crazy."

A time that families usually spend getting school supplies school officials and lawmakers now say has turned into them worrying if their schools will still be open next year.