Buena Vista Township school district declares financial state of emergency

No money means no paychecks for Buena Vista Township teachers. The board of education says they simply do not have enough money to make payroll.

The school district actually owes the state money. District officials have been using state aid designated for one program to make payroll. Now that fund has run dry and it's not sitting well with Buena Vista neighbors.

Students have a month left of class but it is teachers who could be playing hookey due to a lack of funds.

â??Itâ??s sad, real sad,â?? says Irma Mitchell, a township resident.

Board of education president Randy Jackson says the school simply doesn't have enough cash to write checks.

â??We can't make it (payroll) after this week. So basically next week will be our final payroll,â?? says Jackson.

Jackson says a dwindling tax base, a budget deficit, mounting tax bills and a lack of state aid is the root of the problem.

â??When your township tells you, you have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars back to them within a week, what do you do?" says Jackson.

The board used state aid meant for the Wolverine Juvenile Detention program to pay taxes and payroll.

Problem is---the district hasn't used the wolverine program for a year and the state wants the money back.

â??Somebodyâ??s not doing something,â?? says Mitchell. â??There's a screw loose somewhere,â?? she adds.

With a $1-million deficit and an empty general fund, the district is now in a financial state of emergency, hoping the department of education helps out and the teachers hang tough.

â??They should get paid,â?? says Marcos Chavez. â??Find a way to pay them too instead of cutting them down cause it takes a lot of work to handle kids,â?? says Chavez.

â??I hope everything works out for the Buena Vista school district,â?? adds Mitchell.

The Michigan Department of Educaton, the Buena Vista Education Association and the Buena Vista superintendent did not return phone calls to NBC25 News.