Residents, parents pour out emotion during school deficit discussion
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
The Saginaw School District is up against the wall. The state has imposed a Monday deadline for the district to make the tough decisions necessary to get their budget on track.
"This isn't new, but right now, this is our last kick at the cat," said Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins.
A $4.8 million deficit looms in this district. As possible solutions are presented, including the possibility of shutting down Saginaw High, emotions ran high at a public meeting Wednesday night.
"Basically, you are telling our children it's not good enough to live where they live," said one parent.
"I know your backs are against the wall, but I'd hate to see history repeat itself," said another parent.
Under the proposed plan, Saginaw High students would travel to Arthur Hill High School, along with the closure of a couple of other schools. And on Wednesday night, it was clear that's not the most popular move.
"If you feel you want to make a bold decision, and you've got to shut down schools, I'm standing right in Arthur Hill saying, shut Arthur Hill down. Leave Saginaw high open. They can go from the west side to the east side," said Charles Sledge, who stood up and addressed the board during public comment period.
Tradition and pride were used often as parents addressed the board, pleading for another way. But some just want there to be a way.
"And I trust that the decision that you will make, whatever the decision is, will be a decision so that we live another day, and that's what's most important," said a retired teacher from the Saginaw district.
The board tabled any decision to a meeting on Saturday. It will be held at Saginaw High School at noon.
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