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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 (21-30):
romalove
by Roma on May. 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM


Quoting UpSheRises:

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.



They shouldn't have waited so long.  

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

 


Quoting romalove:


Quoting UpSheRises:

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.

 

 

They shouldn't have waited so long.  

The state notified them on a Monday morning that funding was being withheld. The school district had no idea it was coming so they didn't have time to prepare. This all went down really quickly. While the disctirct shouldnt have been taking money for a service it wasn't providing the state knew that these kids would be without schooling.

 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The union voted to continue working without pay. The school board would not let them.  


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 I don't know about this particular area, but sometimes it is not logistically possible for rural schools to merge with other districts.  Just within our own district we have kids that are on a bus for more than 4 hours per day...and we have several rural schools.  Closing some of these schools would make it impossible for these kids to attend a traditional school.

I think it is crappy though...the taxpayers are doing their part.  I would be curious to know the situation between the school and teachers union.

 


 

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 20, 2013 at 11:06 AM

If this is a public school, it cannot just close its doors and do this without public hearings and permission from the dept. of ed. 

romalove
by Roma on May. 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Terrible.

Quoting UpSheRises:

 




Quoting romalove:




Quoting UpSheRises:


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.


 


 


They shouldn't have waited so long.  


The state notified them on a Monday morning that funding was being withheld. The school district had no idea it was coming so they didn't have time to prepare. This all went down really quickly. While the disctirct shouldnt have been taking money for a service it wasn't providing the state knew that these kids would be without schooling.


 

stormcris
by Christy on May. 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Is that a law in Michigan?

Quoting cjsbmom:

If this is a public school, it cannot just close its doors and do this without public hearings and permission from the dept. of ed. 


UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

 The didn't choose to close the school, the state withheld funding. There was no money to keep it open. The department of ed knew it was closing, they are the once who choose not to make scheduled payments.

It's so messed up...if i hadn't been following this closely since day one i wouldn't believe it myself. I can't believe how many people failed these children on so many levels.

Quoting cjsbmom:

If this is a public school, it cannot just close its doors and do this without public hearings and permission from the dept. of ed. 


 

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on May. 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Maybe.

Quoting cjsbmom:

If this is a public school, it cannot just close its doors and do this without public hearings and permission from the dept. of ed. 

JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on May. 20, 2013 at 12:01 PM
It's terrible.

Quoting UpSheRises:

 The didn't choose to close the school, the state withheld funding. There was no money to keep it open. The department of ed knew it was closing, they are the once who choose not to make scheduled payments.


It's so messed up...if i hadn't been following this closely since day one i wouldn't believe it myself. I can't believe how many people failed these children on so many levels.


Quoting cjsbmom:


If this is a public school, it cannot just close its doors and do this without public hearings and permission from the dept. of ed. 




 

Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Are the teachers going to get paid or is it volunteers only?

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