School year officially over in Buena Vista - WNEM TV 5

School year officially over in Buena Vista

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The school year is officially over for students in Buena Vista Township.

The closing comes six weeks early because the district says it just doesn't have enough money to operate.

According to WNEM TV5 reporter Brian Wood, the reason the state isn't giving the district any money is because the district's deficit elimination plan has not been approved. Title 1 money, which is federal money, and 31A money from the state of Michigan, will be going to the district.

The district laid off its teachers and all but three employees last Tuesday. It said it wouldn't make payroll because the state is withholding funding to recoup $580,000 for a program the district no longer operates.

Some local lawmakers have been calling on the state to use its rainy day fund to help the district, but Gov. Rick Snyder says he is against the idea. 

The district laid off teachers and all but three employees May 7. The district has said it wouldn't be able to make payroll May 24 because the state put a hold on its funding to recoup about $580,000 for a juvenile detention education program the district no longer operates.

Not everyone is happy with the developments, however. Congressman Dan Kildee, D-MI, issued this statement following the announcement Monday:

"The students of Buena Vista have a constitutional right to an education and deserve the same educational opportunities as other Michigan children, and that means being in a classroom full-time to complete their school year. I do not believe that a voluntary camp amounts to a proper education for the children of Buena Vista.

"It is dangerous precedent to allow school districts to close six weeks early as a cost-saving measure, only to replace a child's education with a voluntary camp. Such a patchwork fix fails to live up to a commitment to provide a quality education for students. Children deserve better. Simply shutting down the schools early hurts the students of Buena Vista and ultimately punishes the children for a problem they didn't create."

But students could still get a chance to get some extra work in the classroom.

The school board plans to meet Tuesday, to vote on whether to move forward with the proposed enhanced skills camp for students.

The optional program will likely last 4 to 6 weeks. That Enhancement Skills Camp could start as early as next week.

If the measure is approved, the camp could start next week.

Some teachers will be called back to run the program, but there's no word yet on how much money the school district will get to run the program.

Meanwhile, Buena Vista alumni are coming together to make graduation and prom special. The district is accepting donations in a separate account, with all the money going to seniors.

You can help too. Send a check or money order to 705 North Towerline and be sure to write "Class of 2013" on it.

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