Snyder: More time, work needed for school closures - WNEM TV 5

Snyder: More time, work needed for school closures

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Gov. Rick Snyder said more time and work is needed to decide whether or not to close the 38 schools on the state's potential closure list.

 “Any action we take will have long-lasting consequences and we need to take the time to get this right. That’s why I want our [School Reform Office] team to work closely with State Superintendent Brian Whiston and the Michigan Department of Education to reach out and coordinate all the latest information with local superintendents and districts," Snyder said.

The schools in the bottom 5 percent of all public schools are monitored each year for turnaround. Those schools are required to write plans and receive support services.

This year three Mid-Michigan schools made the list, Saginaw High School, Jessie Loomis Academy and Martin Atkins Elementary School.

“All kids deserve access to a quality school that will prepare them for a good life after high school. That’s why our team remains dedicated to taking action when schools are not providing students with a quality education; in some instances this has been the case for over a decade," said Natasha Baker, State School Reform officer.

Snyder said while closure may not be the best options for the schools on the list, there must be some action to fix the failing schools.

“Closing a school is a tough decision and sometimes there just are no other options that make sense, but we need to work closely with a local district and the community they serve to reach our conclusions together," State Superintendent Brian Whiston said.

Snyder hopes to have the decisions ready by May.

“We have heard from communities and their elected officials about the desire to have more input into this process and we will consider feedback from local communities as we move forward. The focus in all of this needs to be on helping and teaching the kids involved, so even if a school is not closed, there will be some changes made," Snyder said.

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