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Benton Harbor school board members say they'll send another turnaround plan to Whitmer

Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio
Benton Harbor Area Schools administration building.

School board members in Benton Harbor say they’ll try again to reach an agreement with the governor’s office to turn the district around.

The administration of Governor Whitmer announced a tentative agreement with the school board earlier this month, but board members said there was no agreement.

At a meeting Saturday, board members said they’re working on a new proposal

Meanwhile, interim superintendent Patricia Robinson says some teachers and parents have already decided to leave the district because of the uncertainty.

“Moving forward for our working parents, and for parents in general, they just want to make sure there is a place for their child to go - not just next year, but in years to come,” Robinson said.

She said the district has received 23 requests from parents who want to move their children out of the district.

Robinson says there will a forum this Thursday for parents to get an update.

“It’s also going to be an opportunity for them to voice their concerns, voice the challenges that they’ve experienced, and even offer solutions or resolutions for those,” Robinson said.

Governor Whitmer’s office says the district is $18.4 million dollars in debt. It says the district may have to shutter its high school to remain solvent. 

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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