Department of Education voices concern over resignations at Flint schools
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - A large number of resignations from educators at Flint Community Schools prompted the Department of Education to send a letter to the district voicing its concern.
“I think the resignations are evident that there’s something wrong, but I think we can fix it,” said Dylan Luna, treasurer for the Flint City Board of Education.
Michael Rice, Superintendent for the State of Michigan, sent a letter after three senior staff members of Flint Community Schools resigned over the past six weeks. Those staff members include the Chief Financial Officer, Human Resource Manager, and the Assistant Superintendent.
“It shows the need for the board to really begin to collaborate with each other. The administration, key partners, the community and teachers to get what needs to be done done,” Luna said.
One resident said he thinks the letter is a disruption not only for the school district, but for the state as a whole.
“When the state has to come in to a local municipality, whether it be a school board or a city council, they have other things to be worrying about. What other districts are now being neglected because they’re having to come here and pick up the pieces?” said Flint resident Trevor Berryhill.
In his letter, Rice said he reviewed board minutes and found the common denominator among the resignations was the board’s involvement in the administrators’ jobs and their inability to perform their roles.
“A lot of ego. People seem to get very jealous that they’re not in a seat. And when they feel that, they start disrupting other business. There’s been reports from this board that some board members won’t even go to their committee meetings. They’ll sit out here in a car, that way that nothing happens there because they’re spiteful,” Berryhill said.
“I think it just needs to be individual members knowing what their role is and respecting their role and the role of the administration and staff,” Luna said.
Rice suggested the board engage periodically in board-superintendent governance training to properly establish and maintain roles and responsibilities.
“I’m optimistic. I’m going to do my part and I’m going to work hard to encourage my colleagues to know their part as well,” Luna said.
The state superintendent pointed out the constant turnover undermines the long-term ability of the district to attract and retain staff and to serve its students.
During the meeting, one teacher said she was actively looking for new employment and another stated that if things didn’t change, she would be leaving at the end of the school year.
The Executive Director of Academics for the district reportedly handed in her resignation letter Monday, May 8, and according to the board meeting agenda, a data technician and math teacher have also resigned.
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