New proposed Saginaw plan calls for closing two elementary schoo - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New proposed Saginaw plan calls for closing two elementary schools, more changes

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(02/16/14) - Saginaw parents and kids could be facing a brand new set of challenges.

The superintendent just released a plan that could save the district millions of dollars and save Saginaw High School from closing - but there are two new schools in jeopardy that might surprise you.

Originally, Superintendent Carl Jenkins proposed closing Saginaw High.

"The [deficit elimination plan] shows two closed schools that were never mentioned before," said Saginaw School Board member Rudy Patterson.

Saginaw Schools have a long road ahead of them - they need to figure out how to solve a $6.1 million deficit.

Parents, teachers and the community shot down the original idea to close Saginaw High and merge students with Arthur Hill. So, Jenkins came up with a new plan.

"The board was blind-sided," Patterson said.

That's because it's an entirely new deficit elimination plan.

Here are some highlights:

- Saginaw High and Arthur Hill would become 7-12 grade schools.

- Ruben Daniels would be a K-5 grade building.

- Zilwuakee would become a K-8 grade school.

- Heavenrich would become the district-wide pre-k building.

- Two elementary schools would be shut down - Houghton and Merrill Park.

"They've never had an opportunity to come down and voice their opinion," Patterson said.

Patterson says it isn't fair to throw those schools into the mix without giving parents enough time to speak up.

Another part of the plan is to send all sixth graders to one school - Willie Thompson.

"Children at the fifth grade are in one school, sixth grade at another school and seventh in another school, that's just extremely too much," Patterson said.

The plan also calls for laying off more than a dozen teachers and a handful of administrators and secretaries, while also closing the staff development building.

Before this new plan was even introduced, House Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes was calling for more time to make this huge decision.

"That they have a enough time to make a comprehensive sustainable deficit elimination plan so parents and students alike know what's going on," she said.

The state needs this plan by Tuesday or the district will lose millions of dollars in state aid.

The board is scheduled to vote on this Monday at noon in the Administration Building.

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