Buena Vista parents, students left with unanswered questions - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Buena Vista parents, students left with unanswered questions

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BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) -

(05/08/13) - It's the second day of no classes for students - and no jobs for teachers and staff at the Buena Vista Schools.

The cash-strapped district canceled classes for the second day in a row after laying off staff because of a loss of state funds.

School leaders are hoping the state will come up with funding to finish the school year, but some state officials say they need to see a plan before they can help.
 
Parents and students are still left with a lot of questions about the future of Buena Vista Schools. The main question they're asking is when classes will resume.

The district has posted answers the most commonly asked questions on its website. You can find that site HERE.

The district points to a reduction in state school aid, combined with a severe drop in enrollment for the financial woes.

On top of that, BV has to repay the state hundreds of thousands of dollars for money leaders accepted for services at the Wolverine Secure Treatment Center that they did not provide.

Teachers volunteered to work for free through the end of this week, but district leaders say, while they appreciate the dedication, Michigan law requires that employers pay employees for work performed. Because the district has no money, they had to let the teachers go.

At this point, they aren't sure if those teachers will be called back.

Meantime, school buildings will remain open with principals volunteering their time. Teachers are being asked to report to their school's principals, turn in their keys and other school property, and pick up their belongings by Friday.

There is still no word yet on whether BV schools will be around next year. District leaders say they are working closely with the state and the Saginaw County ISD to figure out a plan for the rest of the school year.

Superintendents in several Saginaw County school districts have said they're going to do whatever they can to help students in the Buena Vista School District complete their school year successfully.

Superintendent of the Saginaw County ISD, Richard Syrek, has been in contact with Buena Vista school district leaders daily. He says he's working with other superintendents to try to find solutions quickly.

He says, right now, there are lots of ideas - but no concrete plans. They're continuing to find ways to get the students in school for the rest of this school year.

He says he has had conversations with the Michigan Department of Education and the auditors who are looking at the number of hours and days the students have so far.

Richard Syrek was told that as long as seniors have taken care of their class requirements, that BV district leaders can give them a diploma

"Parents who want to get moving on getting their students in class in school, I would think that they could go to a local school district and see if that district would accept them for the rest of this year. I think the local districts will do whatever they can, understand that you have situations where they could be overcrowded in a classroom and they're not going to want to add students to an overcrowded classroom," he said.

Now, it's up to the district to decide whether or not they'll be able to take the students in.

Lawmakers in Lansing are also reacting. Senator Roger Kahn and Representative Stacey Erwin Oaks say they are both concerned about BV's situation. Both have been getting lots of calls from concerned parents, community members and administrators.

Congressman Dan Kildee sent a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder to ensure the students can finish out the school year. You can read that letter, HERE.

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