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Saginaw superintendent will deliver recommendation on closing high school next week

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Opposition to merging Saginaw’s two public high schools appears to be turning to resignation.

A year ago, dozens of people angrily criticized closing either Saginaw or Arthur Hill high school. A public hearing last night was more muted.

At public hearings a year ago, speaker after speaker railed against a proposal to close Saginaw High School.   Many parents said they would send their high school age children to schools outside the district rather than have them attend a consolidated high school. 

Last night, the tone was different. While some still railed against consolidation, many speakers seemed more resigned.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Next week, Saginaw's interim school superintendent may recommend closing Saginaw High School

“I think the seed was planted a few years ago that perhaps we may need to consolidate,” says Kelley Peatross, Saginaw’s interim superintendent.

Peatross will deliver data on the school closing options to the school board on Wednesday. 

Next week, Peatross will deliver her recommendation to the board as to if a school should close, and if so, which one. 

She insists she hasn’t made a final decision.

“But I think now we are at that crossroad where the board’s going to have to make that tough decision,” says Peatross. 

There are many factors going into the decision. 

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
A year ago, large, vocal crowds turned out to criticize a proposal to close Saginaw high school and send its students to nearby Arthur Hill High School

Closing a high school is part of the Saginaw district deficit elimination plan. But the district’s budget deficit is actually smaller than originally projected.  

Also on Wednesday, the Saginaw school board may agree to sell the old Buena Vista high school. The sale to an education company would net millions of dollars for the district.   

However, Peatross says the decision also needs to focus on what would provide the best academic opportunities for Saginaw’s public school students.  

A final decision on whether to close one of Saginaw’s high schools is expected February 18.   

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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