UPDATE: School is back in session for Buena Vista students. HOWEVER, the state is still sitting on a budget surplus that should be used to help students receive a quality education they deserve.
School has been out of session since May 3rd in Saginaw County's Buena Vista Township - closing some six weeks before the end of the school year due to a budget crisis. While many have called on Governor Snyder to use a modest share of the money in Michigan's Rainy Day Fund - he has refused to act.
The Michigan Department of Education is withholding state aid payments for a minimum of April, May and June because the district took $401,962.51 to educate students from the Wolverine Secure Treatment Center who no longer attend the district.
As announced yesterday, the school is closed for the remainder of the school year and the federal government is providing money for a voluntary “enhanced skills camp”. Michigan Schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan hopes to have the camp open by May 20, but admits that start date is "an ambitious goal."
435 students in Michigan are simply being told that their education is not as important as politics.
- Governor Rick Snyder
On behalf of Buena Vista Township students and parents, I'm asking you to get to work on a serious plan that would reopen Buena Vista schools.
From the Michigan Constitution art. VIII, § 2.:
“The legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for the education of its pupils without discrimination as to religion, creed, race, color or national origin.”
In your inaugural address, you stated that "we need to move from negative to positive." You also talk a whole lot about moving Michigan forward. How can you say those things when you deny an education to the future leaders of our state - all in the name of politics?
It's inexcusable that in 2013 we can't figure out how to get 400-plus students to finish the school year. Please consider using a minute portion of the rainy day fund to get these kids back to school.
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