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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 (31-40):
cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I don't see how this is legal. 

Are schools 100 percent funded by the state in Michigan? Here, state funding barely makes up a third of funding. The majority of it comes from local taxes. 

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. 




UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Kind of. Our schools are not funded by local taxes. They can do millages and stuff like that but the bulk of the money comes from the state.  The state collects the money the doles it out on a per pupil basis. I think everyone gets around $6500 per student.

 

Quoting cjsbmom:

I don't see how this is legal. 

Are schools 100 percent funded by the state in Michigan? Here, state funding barely makes up a third of funding. The majority of it comes from local taxes. 

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. 

 

 


 

 

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on May. 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM
1 mom liked this
I attended a K - 12 school, it's now only K - 9, and the final graduating class was 5 students. I was in grade 11 at the time and when we moved to the next town over my grad class was still only 50, including a couple foreign exchange students.

If our student population had stayed at levels of having 30 in a graduating class there wouldn't have been an issue, it was the declining population that made it economically unfeasable.


Quoting Carpy:

Michigan does not conglomerate schools. It is full of little towns that have K-12 schools. Some of them have graduating classes as low as 30. Very costly way to run school systems.



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?
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cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on May. 20, 2013 at 2:33 PM

I still do not see how the state can just shut down a school this late into a school year. Can the teachers or parents not take them to court to get an injunction? It seems so unfair to do that to the kids, especially the seniors. 

Quoting UpSheRises:

Kind of. Our schools are not funded by local taxes. They can do millages and stuff like that but the bulk of the money comes from the state.  The state collects the money the doles it out on a per pupil basis. I think everyone gets around $6500 per student.


Quoting cjsbmom:

I don't see how this is legal. 

Are schools 100 percent funded by the state in Michigan? Here, state funding barely makes up a third of funding. The majority of it comes from local taxes. 

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. 







UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 2:54 PM

 That's a great question. I don't know the answer but i'll guess it's because technically the school wasn't shut down, its funding was just delayed. The district choose to cancel classes indefinetely (like they might if there was a building problem or something maybe) because they couldn't meet the needs of students?

Quoting cjsbmom:

I still do not see how the state can just shut down a school this late into a school year. Can the teachers or parents not take them to court to get an injunction? It seems so unfair to do that to the kids, especially the seniors. 

Quoting UpSheRises:

Kind of. Our schools are not funded by local taxes. They can do millages and stuff like that but the bulk of the money comes from the state.  The state collects the money the doles it out on a per pupil basis. I think everyone gets around $6500 per student.

 

Quoting cjsbmom:

I don't see how this is legal. 

Are schools 100 percent funded by the state in Michigan? Here, state funding barely makes up a third of funding. The majority of it comes from local taxes. 

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. 

 

 


 

 



 

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 2:59 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting UpSheRises:

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.

 

 

 

 Wow!  That is something you don't often see!  Kudos for them for putting the needs of the children first.  I bet the people of the town would have ponied up some cash if they had been asked.

Here is WY Yellowstone is a big deal...because of budget cuts there was going to be a 2 week or more delay in getting the roads cleared of snow for the annual opening.  People put up the money...park opened on schedule.  I was so proud.  It is amazing what people will do when asked.

 

rfurlongg
by on May. 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Sounds like these children were failed by many people. I hope the parents are able to provided (perhaps force) some kind of change.

Quoting UpSheRises:

 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?



 

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rfurlongg
by on May. 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM
1 mom liked this
Perhaps they should. Tough times call new measures.

Quoting Carpy:

Michigan does not conglomerate schools. It is full of little towns that have K-12 schools. Some of them have graduating classes as low as 30. Very costly way to run school systems.



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?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on May. 20, 2013 at 3:03 PM

 Wow, crazy

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 20, 2013 at 3:08 PM

 


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting UpSheRises:

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.

 

 

 

 Wow!  That is something you don't often see!  Kudos for them for putting the needs of the children first.  I bet the people of the town would have ponied up some cash if they had been asked.

Here is WY Yellowstone is a big deal...because of budget cuts there was going to be a 2 week or more delay in getting the roads cleared of snow for the annual opening.  People put up the money...park opened on schedule.  I was so proud.  It is amazing what people will do when asked.

 

I agree. I'm skeptical though...none of them knew the school was receiving money for a program they weren't providing? How involved are unions in the funding process?

 

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