Residents, school board members to fight back against potential - WNEM TV 5

Residents, school board members to fight back against potential closures

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

After the state reform office threatened to close dozens of schools statewide, a local district said it won't go down without a fight.

Saginaw school officials are exploring legal options against the state over the issue.

Residents spoke at Wednesday's school board meeting to make their feelings known.

"We feel the actions are callous and show a total disregard for protocol and a lack of respect for local control and decision making," said Terry Pruitt, with the NAACP.

The state has placed Saginaw High School and Jessie Loomis Academy on a short list of schools facing closure because of low test scores on standardized tests.

The district said the state's school reform office acted prematurely, saying academics in the two buildings are improving.

The school board gave the superintendent permission to hire an attorney to look into the issue.

"We thought that some places in there that they jumped the gun and legal will take a good look at those for us and move forward with action and we want to be proactive, not reactive," said Rudy Patterson, Saginaw School Board president.

The board also agreed to send a resolution to the school reform office, which said the community opposes the plans for potential school closures.

"Give us a chance to prove ourselves based on the agreements we have in place," Patterson said.

Some community members believe taking a stand is the district's only hope to keep the two schools open.

"It is time for all seven of us and us in the community to get behind us and march down to Lansing and say look, enough is enough. Quit picking on Saginaw schools," said Joe Loperena, Saginaw resident.

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