Extra funds from state, federal sources offer short-term relief for Lansing School District

LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing School District prepared for a financially thin year in the midst of the pandemic, but larger-than-expected revenues from state and federal sources have given the district breathing room for the short term. With a fiscal year that begins in July, the Lansing School District has to budget its year before they know exactly how much funding they will receive from the state, which has a fiscal year running from October to September. Their initial adopted budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year was based on cautious predictions of state funding, cutting their total budget by about 6% from the previous year. 

As more federal funds became available through the CARES act, the Lansing School District found itself with nearly $20 million, about 9% more than originally budgeted in the spring. In addition to those emergency funds, the state altered how it measured enrollment for allocating funds.

The South Lansing Library in Lansing Michigan

Lansing libraries versus the pandemic

LANSING – The Covid-19 pandemic has made libraries re-think their whole approach to community engagement and how they provide services to their patrons. 

Covid-19 has the ability to easily spread on surfaces and through the air. This has raised major problems for many public services, especially a service like the library where the physical aspect of going and picking out a book or using a computer has become nearly impossible while trying to keep everyone safe. The Capital Area District Libraries are only available for curbside pick-up and limited computer use because of health and safety concerns for not only the staff, but the communities that the libraries serve.  

“When books return they quarantine for 96 hours,” said Jill Abood, a community engagement specialist for the Capital Area District Libraries. This is an example of one of the safety measures put in place by the library so it can still provide its service and keep the community safe.  

Andy Bourgeois, public service head at Capital Area District Libraries, has been working hard with his colleagues to make sure the library is still offering as many services as possible. 

“One of the biggest challenges has been technology,” Bourgeois said. “It’s hard for a lot of people because the library is their main technology resource.”

The library has been adding more technology to its collection but has faced supply shortages and budget cuts.

Haslett Public School District administration talks business; next steps getting back into in-person schooling

Image by Xavier Thompson. Haslett schools are having a grand reopening of sorts, welcoming students back to classrooms.

Haslett Public Schools’ Board of Education hosted its third virtual regular meeting of the 2021 spring semester on Monday, Feb. 8, to discuss various topics such as a back-to-school update, a responsive return to school plan update, COVID-19 extended learning plan monthly reconfirmation, and more. Superintendent Steven L. Cook said secondary students had begun hybrid module learning that day. Elementary school students began in-person instruction Feb.

Let us play: High school athletes rally at the Capitol to restart sports seasons

Michigan high school athletes and supporters rallied at the Capitol Jan. 30, appealing to the governor to end the COVID postponement of sports

A young crowd, mostly masked, was peaceful, in contrast to recent rallies at this and other Capitols. The students said that sports keep them engaged in school, lift their mental health in dark times and help some of them get into college.

Several who attended said they would like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to acknowledge their #letusplay #letthemplay peaceful demonstration and their demand for a quick return to sports.