By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Buena Vista School officials meet with community members Tuesday night.
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -
Parents were frustrated and angered after meeting with officials about a local district's financial meltdown Tuesday night.
Buena Vista Schools has run out of money and laid off their teachers. Classes have been canceled again Wednesday, and parents are demanding answers.
"I'm not going to say things that I think may eventually hurt the district; therefore, I'm legally bound with what I can say," said Buena Vista School District Superintendent Deborah Hunter-Harvill.
Parents left Tuesday night with a lot of lingering questions, many about the future of the students. Emotions and disbelief outlined the meeting as Hunter-Harvill and Buena Vista School Board President Randy Jackson answered what they could.
"I'd be out there taking collections to make sure my kids are getting an education," said one disgruntled parent.
"Somebody needs to help our kids for 30 days. Thirty days, that's all we're asking for," said another mad parent.
But it appears the help is far from coming. Tuesday night, parents heard the hardships the district faces, but as parents and students waited for answers, they never came.
"I don't think we got nowhere. I don't think we knew anymore than we did when we got here," said Dede Waferlong, who has children in the district.
"What are we going to do on Thursday, Friday, next week, the following week, you know?" said parent Sandra Gonzales.
School will remain closed Wednesday. Teachers learned on Tuesday, a day after they were laid off, it's in their best interest to not come back. Teachers were told not to talk, but one felt compelled to speak out, so we agreed to hide her identity.
"It breaks all of our hearts because we want to be back in the classroom, back in the building, and be with the students," said the teacher.
Students want that, too.
"The only thing is us students coming to school. We have overcame many challenges just having the thought of graduation at the end, and then it went crashing," said Buena Vista senior Lorenzo Caldwell.
"I've had problems through high school, but I've turned it around now, and I really want to graduate. It means a lot to me," said senior Tyrell Bridgewater.
But right now, the future seems in doubt.
"What are the backup plans?" TV5 asked Superintendent Hunter-Harvill.
"I've given you all I can give you, but I'm thankful you are here," was Hunter-Harvill's response.
Some parents TV5 spoke with Tuesday night said they're trying to take matters into their own hands. They've tried to enroll their children in other local schools, but say because it's so late in the year, they've been denied.
Hunter-Harvill said she plans to meet with the Saginaw Intermediate School District tomorrow and speak to other local superintendents to try to get students finished with this school year.
There's no word on whether the district will reopen on Thursday.
Here's a look at how the situation got to this point. The state was funding the Wolverine Treatment Center even though the district didn't provide any teachers. In response, the state has stopped sending aid for April, May, and June.
As a result, the district laid off its teachers immediately and cancelled class.
We will continue to follow the financial crisis at Buena Vista Schools on air, online, and on your mobile device.
Click on the video above to see the full report and also the raw footage from Tuesday night's special meeting.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Do you think the Buena Vista school district will exist next school year?
Sunday, April 20 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:01:18 GMT
Authorities are investigating a deadly plane crash. Officials tell TV 5 a small plane went down Saturday afternoon in a field in Shiawassee County. Two people are confirmed dead. Officials are still onMore >
Airplane crashed onto Mid-Michigan field Saturday.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-04-19 22:15:00 GMT
Michigan State Police Troopers of the Tri City Post are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash. The crash occurred at 3:55 p.m. on April 18. The motorcycle was traveling at a high speed when the driverMore >
Michigan State Police Troopers of the Tri City Post are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:06:58 GMT
Cell phone video captured a fight between two girls in front of Bay City Central High School Thursday. "She turned and punched me in my forehead, so then we just got in a big fighting session," claimedMore >
Cell phone video captured a fight between two girls in front of Bay City Central High School on Thursday.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:00:16 GMT
A local business manager was stunned to see her most recent water bill to the tune of $18,000. Kim Haken runs the "Columbus Laundromat" in Bay City. When she called the city to ask about the problem,More >
A local business manager was stunned to see her most recent water bill to the tune of $18,000.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:35:21 GMT
AT&T has announced it's hiring right here in Mid-Michigan. It's the latest positive development for downtown Saginaw in recent weeks. Saginaw resident Linton Patrick was excited about the possibilityMore >
AT&T has announced it's hiring right here in Mid-Michigan.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-04-19 14:12:08 GMT
Flames ripped through a local home late last night and investigators believe it was no accident. It happened late last night on the corner of North Granger and Madison in Saginaw. Firefighters brokeMore >
Flames ripped through a local home late last night and investigators believe it was no accident.More >