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Posted on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

Milan schools lays off employees, considers privatizing custodians

By Danielle Arndt

The Milan Area Schools Board of Education voted to lay off 14 employees, potentially consolidate bus routes and pursue a request for proposals to privatize custodial services, according to a report in the Milan News-Leader.

The board approved laying off four teachers, eight custodians and secretaries, one bus driver and one central office employee, the newspaper reported. Eleven employees also were reduced through attrition, according to the report.

Privatizing custodians, which would require laying off 16 more staff members, could save the school district $100,000 to $150,000, the News-Leader says.

The district also will be exploring reducing its transportation from a three-tiered system to a two-tiered system that could have students in grades K-12 riding the bus together for additional budget savings.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Brad PTA

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

To date I have heard no reason of why Milan needs to change it's mascot and logo. As far as I know there have been no complaints. There has been a lot of money spent on the issue for no reason. Also, privatization of staff can end up being a dangerous situation. Depending on the contracts the school may not have any say on who is hired and placed in the school. If the hiring company does not do background checks we may be sending our children to school with child predators that know every inch of the school. Think about that one. Is the risk worth $100,000 to $150,000?


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

First let's note that the busing proposal was for going from a 2-tier system to a single tier system, at least as reported in the Milan newspaper. Second, I wonder how this would be implemented. There was mention of long-term savings from driving fewer miles and thus replacing buses less frequently; but there was no mention of the fact that they would have to approximately double their bus fleet to do this; unless their buses are so uncrowded that they can double the number of passengers on each bus. Double the bus routes, and your are now paying twice the drivers half of what the current group is paid. Isn't that the same? Also, again, you are buying buses less frequently but you have twice as many to buy. Additionally, mileage is not the only determinant of when to purchase buses. If you replace buses every 10 to 12 years but put only half as many miles on them, that does not imply that you can now expect them to last 20 to 24 years. I have observed this trend in other school districts, and while certainly there must be some kind of savings as many districts do it, it just doesn't seem like it can add up to all that much.

Cheryl Hieber

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

Right below this article in Related Content is one that reads "Two academic buildings at the University of Michigan to receive $10.1M in upgrades." The elementary and high schools have to keep giving and the universities keep on spending. Our government is in need of a restructuring, beginning with Mr. Gnyder.

Cheryl Hieber

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

Mr. Snyder that is.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

Maybe they should cut out the Para Pro's instead of actual teachers. I think Paddock now has 12 of them on the payroll


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3 a.m.

They are cutting four teaches one from each school. I would much rather that then cut para pro's Para pro's are with special needs kids and with the ones that need extra attention because of disruptive behavior towards themselves or others. Simply put they need them. I would rather my child have an extra maybe 3 kids in a class vs a teacher having to only focus on that one child that needs help then equally attending to all. Btw I have no child in the schools. And custodial are some of the highest paid on payroll. They also have better benefits than most. I understand that. And all schools on same time and have less bus runs makes perfect sense.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

I have seen in smaller communities the joining of all levels of education. K thru high school. Mostly middle school and elementary. With high school on its own. Although Chelsea does combine all three. I am not surprised by this at all. Milan is not a huge school system and most still walk to school.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 3:14 a.m.

Time to march on Lansing, folks! Matter of fact, you can do just that on Wednesday! Google "Save Our Schools" for more info on this grass-roots movement.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 3 a.m.

The technology wing, bus garage and sports field upgrades were all paid for by a bond approved by Milan voters. State law says that bondmoney can not be used to pay for staff salaries.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

blow all that money on a new bus garage, sports fields, and a "technology wing" only to have this happen.... Great job board members, way to run it into the ground!


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 2:36 a.m.

@ Danielle: What do the custodians currently make, and how much will they be expected to earn once services are privatized?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Does the Milan city council still conduct public meetings while hiding behind a plastic shield? I think it was the new mayor who seemed to have a bit of a freakout and suddenly demand the shield.

Jamie P.

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

I graduated from Milan 5 years ago and it is very sad to see this decline. I know they recently built a brand new wing on the high school. I bet a lot of people would have rather kept teachers and staff. I also don't see any signs of how they are going to reduce their budget without further cuts. There must be better ways. I also wish Milan would stop being so sports driven and focus more on education.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Jamie, schools all over the state and country for that matter have made promises to teachers and their unions for many years; just like our federal government has done; promises they cannot afford to pay. This is going to affect a lot of people especially younger people like yourself who will be asked to pay for all of it. In many European countries everyone is expected to pay 70% of their income to support the bloated government and all of the retirees. This is what's happening to your teachers and teachers all over the state. The really drastic cuts are yet to come. Detroit is currently going through what many school districts and state are going to face. As a young person you need to get politically involved and arm yourself with information. If you and you friends and family want a good life you need to vote for fiscally responsible candidates and there aren't many around. Don't be misguided by all of the peripheral issues like gay marriage, the environment, and others issues. Those are to take your eye off the ball which is the financial catastrophe facing this country.