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Buena Vista, Mich. Schools Close For Year, District Offers 'Skills Camp' Instead
by IhartU
May 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM

 

Buena Vista, Mich. Schools Close For Year, District Offers 'Skills Camp' Instead

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By Emily Smith, Sun, May 19, 2013

School is officially over for all 400 Buena Vista County students, after the school district fired all of its teachers and closed up shop because it ran out of money.

Instead, the district is now offering a voluntary "skills camp" for those who wish to finish out the school year. Teachers will have to interview for positions within the camp, which will last six hours and likely neglect students with special needs.

Despite many concerns from parents, Superintedent Deborah Hunter-Harvill says the students will be fine if the plan comes to fruition. However, Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee says the plan does is not good enough, and penalizes students for a problem they didn't create.

"The students of Buena Vista have a constitutional right to an education and deserve the same educational opportunities as other Michigan children," Kildee said, "and that means being in a classroom full-time to complete their school year."

Joe Ann Nash, a third grade teacher, voiced her opposition to the camp, saying teachers shouldn't have to re-interview for their jobs just because the district couldn't afford payroll.

Rep. Stacey Erwin Oakes also criticized the district's decision, calling for rainy day funds or taking out a loan to finish the year.

"The path of least resistance would be to put them back in school," she said.

Michigan faced similar financial problems in 1999, when Kalkaska schools closed for two months.

Sources: MLive, The Huffington Post

Replies

  • SuperChicken
    May 20, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    I thought this had to be an Onion piece, but sadly it's not.

    The last paragraph of the article states that it will likely be avoided though if a refinancing plan is approved.   Sad freaking state of affairs. :(

  • SuperChicken
    May 20, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    BUMP!

  • rfurlongg
    May 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM
    As rep Kildee says, that is unconstitutional. At the same time, if they are out of money, how can they function? I suspect this area is fairly rural if the entire district comprises of only 400 kids. Perhaps they (and the districts $) can be incorporated into the next closets county?
  • JoshRachelsMAMA
    JRM
    May 20, 2013 at 8:43 AM
    The right to a free public education is found in the various state constitutions and not in the federal constitution. Every state has a provision in its constitution, commonly called the "education article," that guarantees some form of free public education, usually through the twelfth grade. The federal constitution, on the other hand, contains no such guarantee. In San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriquez, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 held that education is not a "fundamental right" under the U.S. Constitution. Thus, as a matter of constitutional law, the founding fathers left it to the states to decide whether to provide an education or not and, if deciding to provide one, determine at what level of quality.


    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/constitutional-requirements-governing-american-education#ixzz2TpuSREQK
  • romalove
    May 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Can you imagine being a high school senior there?  Even in a small graduating class, those kids deserve to finish school and be able to move on to college.

    Why couldn't the district combine with another district if they were too small to afford what they needed to?  That likely would have been a better solution.

  • yourspecialkid
    May 20, 2013 at 9:04 AM

     I don't know about this particular area, but sometimes it is not logistically possible for rural schools to merge with other districts.  Just within our own district we have kids that are on a bus for more than 4 hours per day...and we have several rural schools.  Closing some of these schools would make it impossible for these kids to attend a traditional school.

    I think it is crappy though...the taxpayers are doing their part.  I would be curious to know the situation between the school and teachers union.

     

  • mommy2boys03
    May 20, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    this is not the only high school in Michigan threatening to close or closing.  There is one in Albion Michigan.  I feel sorry for the students who are getting stuck in the political games of the schools and the state for funding.

  • Carpy
    by Carpy
    May 20, 2013 at 9:12 AM
    Michigan does not conglomerate schools. It is full of little towns that have K-12 schools. Some of them have graduating classes as low as 30. Very costly way to run school systems.

    Quoting rfurlongg:

    As rep Kildee says, that is unconstitutional. At the same time, if they are out of money, how can they function? I suspect this area is fairly rural if the entire district comprises of only 400 kids. Perhaps they (and the districts $) can be incorporated into the next closets county?
  • Carpy
    by Carpy
    May 20, 2013 at 9:14 AM
    Houghton Lake almost had to close their school.

    Quoting mommy2boys03:

    this is not the only high school in Michigan threatening to close or closing.  There is one in Albion Michigan.  I feel sorry for the students who are getting stuck in the political games of the schools and the state for funding.

  • Woodbabe
    May 20, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Sounds like a great time to invest in a wide-spread homeschooling system through the district!

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