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Saginaw school board approves deficit elimination plan

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Saginaw Superintendent Carlton Jenkins says “people can rally around (a plan) that can rebuild Saginaw Public Schools.” ";s:

The Saginaw School District Board of Education approved a deficit elimination plan Monday afternoon.

The plan trims nearly $5 million from the district’s budget by closing three schools, laying off dozens of district employees, and other spending cuts. The district has a $6 million deficit.

Carlton Jenkins is Saginaw schools superintendent. He says it’s important for the district to have a “sustainable” plan to move forward – one "people can rally around that can rebuild Saginaw Public Schools.”

The plan still needs the approval of the Michigan Department of Education.

Critics complain the cuts will affect student safety and will push more Saginaw families to send their children to schools outside the district.

School board member Rudy Patterson voted against the plan. He says it doesn't do enough to maintain enrollment.

“They haven’t proven this plan will stop student outflux,” says Patterson. “We lose students, we’re going to be right back here again.”

The final plan does keep Saginaw High School open. An earlier plan called for merging the district’s two high schools. But it drew opposition from students and others with strong ties to Saginaw High School.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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