Group protests in Lansing over potential school closures - WNEM TV 5

Group protests in Lansing over potential school closures

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LANSING, MI (WNEM/AP) -

A few dozen people staged a protest against the potential closings of up to 38 underperforming schools across the state.

The group marched from a Lansing church to the state Capitol complex where they were unsuccessful in meeting with Michigan's director of Technology, Management and Budget.

More than half of the schools that could close are in Detroit. Others are in Benton Harbor, Bridgeport, East Detroit, Kalamazoo, Pontiac, River Rouge and Saginaw.

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad was one of the protesters and said he has children attending schools on the closure list.

Michigan's School Reform Office has said it would examine issues and options for students in the schools before making a decision.

Gov. Rick Snyder has asked officials to review and decide on the schools' fates by May.

Former educator Denise Baldwin knows what it's like to see her school close. Now she is doing her part to make sure Saginaw High and Loomis Academy stay open. The state said they are underperforming and are in danger of being shut down.

"It's a tremendous negative impact. Especially, the east side of Saginaw can't continue to endure and be stable," Baldwin said.

Snyder said he understands the anxiety parents in these districts feel and that they want answers right away. He went on to say any action will have long lasting consequences.

State Superintendent Nathanial McClain said he appreciates the need for state agencies to work together when making decisions that impact students' learning.

As for Baldwin, she believes the community is more invested in their schools than ever before.

"Even though it started with this negative event I believe that we'll see some good things rolling out in the future as we are able to unite and work together as a community," Baldwin said.

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