BV School Board votes to get assistance from charter school
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Officials at the meeting on Thursday.
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -
Buena Vista School Board President Randy Jackson fears the end could be near for his district.
"Slowly but surely, they're going to try to dissolve the Buena Vista School District," said Jackson.
And the decision to pull the plug on Buena Vista could come as soon as Thursday.
State Treasurer Andy Dillon and State Board of Education Superintendent Mike Flanigan will meet to discuss dissolving financially troubled districts, like Buena Vista and Inkster.
If BV is dissolved, the Saginaw Intermediate School District will then place the students into neighboring schools. But Jackson said at this point, he doesn't have confidence in the state or the ISD.
"When they say that they're going to work, that was a complete lie, because they have not to this day kept that word to work with us. I don't feel that they work with us, and I don't feel like the ISD has worked with us to see if there's anyway school can take place here in Buena Vista," said Jackson.
BV school board members said Wednesday is the first they've heard of Thursday's meeting.
"We just happened to find out about it, we're still going to be paying taxes, so this is taxation without representation," said board member Frances Hayes.
The board members are not happy. On Wednesday, in what they admitted is a last-ditch effort, they agreed to work with a charter school company in an attempt to keep the doors open. The Lansing-area based Leona Group has volunteered to try to negotiate with state officials in an attempt to keep the district's doors open.
"We know some of our deficiencies are in academics, in finances, things of that nature, those are some of their strengths, so having them on board, we can bring up academics and be better in finances in Buena vista school district, and bring this school district back," said Jackson.
If the Leona Group can strike some type of deal, board members say they'll investigate whether to turn all operations of the district over to the charter school. Some are even willing to sacrifice their positions.
"Eliminating our school board, whatever it takes, so we can have a school district," said Hayes.
On Wednesday night, TV5 spoke with the Leona Group.
A representative said BV would join other districts in the area under their control and if Buena Vista Schools are allowed to continue to operate, the charter company will do what it can to get the district back on track financially.
As far as the Michigan Department of Education, on Wednesday, it did not have a comment.
The meeting between the treasurer and the superintendent is set at 9:30 a.m. at the State Treasurer's Board Room in Lansing.
Count on TV5 as we continue our coverage of the future of Buena Vista Schools.
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