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State superintendent recommends formal review of Muskegon Heights Public Schools' finances

Muskegon Heights High School
Muskegon Heights School Board
Muskegon Heights High School

Michigan’s Department of Education is recommendingthe governor conduct a formal review of Muskegon Heights Public Schools’ finances. That’s the next step in a process that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager – which the school board has asked the state to do.

Dave Sipka is serving as the temporary superintendent at Muskegon Heights’ schools. “We’re asking the governor, we’re begging the governor to expedite this process," Sipka said. The review normally takes up to 60 days. But Sipka says the district owes millions to vendors and he’s worried the district won’t be able to make payroll in March.

Sipka says he understands the governor will act on the recommendation. 

Friday teachers in the district rejected a new contract that would’ve cut their pay by more than a third.

Muskegon Heights Schools has run a deficit for at least six years in a row. An independent audit says the deficit was $8.5 million at the end of last school year.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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