Buena Vista schools ask for state's preliminary review


Days after laying off teachers and canceling classes the Buena Vista school board is asking the state to intervene.

The board declared a state of emergency Thursday night and asked the state for a preliminary review. But as for the immediate future, administrators have not said when or if classes for grades K-11 will resume.

A prom and graduation will go on as planned for seniors.

â??We go day by day,â?? said Superintendent Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill. â??So to say that we're not going to open up, I don't want to tell you that we're never going to open up,â?? she said.

Board president Randy Jackson said, "We don't have the funds. We don't have the revenue coming in, in order to do that. Any state aide that comes in will be intercepted by the treasury department unless they make an exception. They have the power to do that if they would be so gracious to do that. It would be so fantastic.â??

Jackson said students may finish the school year in other districts, but said he's waiting to hear back from the Michigan Department of Education. Gov. Snyder, in the meantime, said his administration is working on resolving the crisis.

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Questions swirl amid the financial crisis facing Buena Vista schools.

Students have not been in class since Friday and the district laid off its teachers on Tuesday after announcing it could not make payroll this month.

Board members on Thursday decided to ask the state treasury for a preliminary review and start the process of getting an emergency manager.

Meanwhile, the hallways at Buena Vista Township remained empty Thursday as teachers have been asked to gather their belongings and return keys, computers and all other school-issued items. Itâ??s bittersweet for graduating seniors who are bracing for an anti-climactic end.

Reonna Barabino said, â??I'm just walking through the school for probably the last time, it's very sad, but you just gotta accept it."

Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) called on Gov. Snyder to step in. â??These kids have a right to go to school - and what I've asked the governor to do is to take whatever steps are necessary and act immediately to get the school reopened,â?? Kildee said.

A senior prom and graduation are both scheduled.