Where the Buck Stops: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is in charge, and the following avoidable public school mess should give the Republican Party a black eye for a long time to come, when it comes to managing the state’s business. No excuse I can think of would have allowed a school district to shut its doors with a month left to go, and taxpayer dollars guaranteeing a public education. None. I put together two local news reports. Huffington Post:
The teachers agreed to work for free, but apparently that wasn't enough -- so school's out. That's the latest in Buena Vista, Mich., a school district of less than 500 students that closed its schools Tuesday because it is broke. Although the school year doesn't officially end until June 23, on Tuesday morning, the school district posted a notice on its website: "School will be closed Tuesday."
Tuesday also happens to be Teacher Appreciation Day. There will be a meeting for parents that evening.
Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat who represents Buena Vista in the U.S. House of Representatives, said "Every Michigan resident who pays their taxes ... There's a month left in school … use whatever authority the state has to rectify the situation." Kildee said the teachers' offer to work for free was a "gesture of professionalism.”
Snyder caused the problem. Because the school district spent $400,000 on a treatment center it shouldn't have, the state penalized the district by freezing school funding for 3 months.
It’s all about the money, not the children Republicans say they’re so determined to protect.
The state maintains that recouping the money is a legal obligation. Jan Ellis, a spokesperson for the MDOE, said it lacked a viable deficit reduction plan and the advance money it spent for services it wasn't providing. "There's no way legally for us to provide funding," Ellis said.
No way to fund public education? Amazing.
The Michigan Education Association union: "Last night, we yet again saw proof that politicians, administrators and other so-called 'leaders' consistently put money first and our kids last," Steve Cook, president of the MEA, said in a statement. The superintendent said she was "95 percent sure" the high school would still hold its prom and graduation, reported NBC 25's Walter Smith-Randolph. But she added that the dates of those events might change … One valedictorian burst into tears, reports ABC12's Jennifer Profitt. The top student added, "something needs to be done."