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Benton Harbor school board delays vote on plan for improving the district

outside of Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
outside of Benton Harbor High School

Benton Harbor’s school board was set to vote Tuesday on whether to approve the district’s turnaround plan. The board was given a list of 22 recommendations from the Community Engagement Advisory Committee - or CEAC.

Recommendations include things reviewing and improving building infrastructure, creating a teacher residency program, and creating incentives for retaining district staff.

Update 4/27/20 - The school board had planned on voting on the plan at a meeting last week, but wanted to give more time for community feedback. In an email a school official wrote:

"Meetings are being held between the Treasury Department, MDE and the BHAS District in regards to the CEAC and BHAS recommendations on Tuesday, April 28. Because of this, it is best that (Tuesday's) evening's meeting is postponed so that all stakeholders have time to go over any new information from tomorrow's meeting before voting occurs. Once the new date for the Special Board Meeting has been determined you will be notified."

This committee is just one of the pieces to the state’s agreement with the district, which is that the schools would improve academically and financially or risk having the main high school, Benton Harbor High School, shut down.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office proposed shutting down the high school last May due to poor academic achievement and poor finances. But the residents of Benton Harbor argued with state officials about closing the school.

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Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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