Saginaw & Flint Schools facing budget deficit crisis

Attending Saginaw High School is a Bonds family tradition.

â??Graduated in â??85, says Melvin Bonds. His daughter is all set to attend Saginaw High next year but now she might not have a chance.

â??I think that's a sad, sad way to look at things because you should have more opportunities, more choices,â?? says Bonds.

The historic building could be closed for good by the end of the school year.

â??If we don't have the funds, we can't spend the money. It's as simple as that,â?? says Dr. Carlton Jenkins, superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools. Jenkins is ironing out a plan to save $4.7 million.

He says shutting the doors to Saginaw High School is the most viable option right now.

â??Weâ??re just trying to make sure we're ahead of the curve as we continue to look at our local state and federal funding,â?? says Jenkins.

Itâ??s the same story in Flint. The district borrowing $2-million to make payroll after teachers already agreed to a 19-percent pay cut.

â??I think they better really re-look at what is going on because we have already closed so many schools and we made so many different concessions,â?? says Alvin Jackson, the grandparent of a Flint student.

â??They're both deficit districts with their own problems that we're working through,â?? says Bill DiSessa, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education. â??Hopefully the word crisis will be turned into one of progress.â??

Meantime, Governor Rick Snyder is expected to announce a 3-percent funding boost for K-12 education on Wednesday.

â??It may help but i don't think it's enough to get us out of the debt we're in right now,â?? says Sue Rutherford, who represents the Saginaw Teachers Union.

Both districts are holding meetings Wednesday night to lay out their plans to the public. In Flint, the meeting starts at 6:30 at Southwestern Academy. In Saginaw, the meeting starts at 7 pm at the administration building.