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Buena Vista, Mich. Schools Close For Year, District Offers 'Skills Camp' Instead

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Buena Vista, Mich. Schools Close For Year, District Offers 'Skills Camp' Instead

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By Emily Smith, Sun, May 19, 2013

School is officially over for all 400 Buena Vista County students, after the school district fired all of its teachers and closed up shop because it ran out of money.

Instead, the district is now offering a voluntary "skills camp" for those who wish to finish out the school year. Teachers will have to interview for positions within the camp, which will last six hours and likely neglect students with special needs.

Despite many concerns from parents, Superintedent Deborah Hunter-Harvill says the students will be fine if the plan comes to fruition. However, Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee says the plan does is not good enough, and penalizes students for a problem they didn't create.

"The students of Buena Vista have a constitutional right to an education and deserve the same educational opportunities as other Michigan children," Kildee said, "and that means being in a classroom full-time to complete their school year."

Joe Ann Nash, a third grade teacher, voiced her opposition to the camp, saying teachers shouldn't have to re-interview for their jobs just because the district couldn't afford payroll.

Rep. Stacey Erwin Oakes also criticized the district's decision, calling for rainy day funds or taking out a loan to finish the year.

"The path of least resistance would be to put them back in school," she said.

Michigan faced similar financial problems in 1999, when Kalkaska schools closed for two months.

Sources: MLive, The Huffington Post

by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM
Replies (11-20):
mommy2boys03
by on May. 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM



Quoting Woodbabe:

Sounds like a great time to invest in a wide-spread homeschooling system through the district!


At least in my area  there is a strong homeschooling system .  That being said it shouldn't be forced on families to do this but an option if they want to.  I truely believe that not all parents are able to homeschool their childern especially as they get into higher levels of educations.  This decision is not for the best interest of the students

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on May. 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Another district would have to agree. So would the taxpayers in the other district.

Quoting romalove:

Can you imagine being a high school senior there?  Even in a small graduating class, those kids deserve to finish school and be able to move on to college.

Why couldn't the district combine with another district if they were too small to afford what they needed to?  That likely would have been a better solution.

sophiasmommy27
by Member on May. 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM
they've closed down so many schools in mi, it's disgusting.
romalove
by Roma on May. 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM


Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

Another district would have to agree. So would the taxpayers in the other district.

Quoting romalove:

Can you imagine being a high school senior there?  Even in a small graduating class, those kids deserve to finish school and be able to move on to college.

Why couldn't the district combine with another district if they were too small to afford what they needed to?  That likely would have been a better solution.

I know.

We have that here, where there are some towns that are too small for their own high school or even their own school system so they "pool".  Englishtown uses Freehold, for example.  We also have no high school in Milltown, they send their kids to Spotswood and then pay per pupil.  They have to work something out with the school boards so they have some input.  Helmetta and Jamesburg too, just off the top of my head.

In a very rural area it may be too difficult, but there should be something ongoing to make schooling a priority.  This is just terrible, IMO.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on May. 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting mommy2boys03:



Quoting Woodbabe:

Sounds like a great time to invest in a wide-spread homeschooling system through the district!


At least in my area  there is a strong homeschooling system .  That being said it shouldn't be forced on families to do this but an option if they want to.  I truely believe that not all parents are able to homeschool their childern especially as they get into higher levels of educations.  This decision is not for the best interest of the students

As someone who has homeschooled a teen in the high school years, I can assure you that it is much more in the best interest of these students than sitting at home unable to graduate because the adults in their life can't manage a budget enough to keep their schools open for the whole school year.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

mommy2boys03
by on May. 20, 2013 at 9:36 AM



Quoting Woodbabe:


Quoting mommy2boys03:



Quoting Woodbabe:

Sounds like a great time to invest in a wide-spread homeschooling system through the district!


At least in my area  there is a strong homeschooling system .  That being said it shouldn't be forced on families to do this but an option if they want to.  I truely believe that not all parents are able to homeschool their childern especially as they get into higher levels of educations.  This decision is not for the best interest of the students

As someone who has homeschooled a teen in the high school years, I can assure you that it is much more in the best interest of these students than sitting at home unable to graduate because the adults in their life can't manage a budget enough to keep their schools open for the whole school year.

Oh I agree on that or the state has to quit cutting the budget to the school system which has happened every year since propety taxes keep going down since the value of houses in at least my area of Michigan keep decreasing.  Yes we are one big pile of mess here.  There are only at the most 3 weeks of school left for these kids.  They should of found the money to last the last three weeks.


UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM

 They aren't exactly out of money. The state was with holding their payments because it came to light that they were accpeting money for a program the hadn't been providing.

Boo on the district but boo on the state because they knew there was no plan for those children for the rest of the year, didn't give them time to develop one, and didn't provide assistance to them in anyway.


Quoting rfurlongg:

As rep Kildee says, that is unconstitutional. At the same time, if they are out of money, how can they function? I suspect this area is fairly rural if the entire district comprises of only 400 kids. Perhaps they (and the districts $) can be incorporated into the next closets county?


 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Neighboring districts did agree but the families still had to go through the "schools of choice" enrollment process which can take upto a month.

Quoting romalove:

Can you imagine being a high school senior there?  Even in a small graduating class, those kids deserve to finish school and be able to move on to college.

Why couldn't the district combine with another district if they were too small to afford what they needed to?  That likely would have been a better solution.


 

LilliesValley
by Bronze Member on May. 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Wow, yeah, I'd send my kid to private school and send them the bill. What a fucking crock of shit.

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM

 Pontiac schools also faced a similar problem but did not have funds withheld because they were able to come up with a satisfactory deficit elimination plan.

The situation in Albion is a little different because it has a budget problem, the state was not withholding funding like it was for Pontiac and Buena Vista. Albion closed the high school but not the elementary and middle schools. The children and families in that district are very upset. I would be too.

Quoting mommy2boys03:

this is not the only high school in Michigan threatening to close or closing.  There is one in Albion Michigan.  I feel sorry for the students who are getting stuck in the political games of the schools and the state for funding.


 

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