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A second Michigan school district could close its doors

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Dave Garvin
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Downtown Pontiac, Michigan. The city is at a crossroads as a state-appointed emergency manager tries to keep the city from running out of money.

There's no re-open in sight for the Buena Vista school district.

Now, Pontiac schools could be next to close its doors.

The district could be forced to shut down operations before the end of its school year.

A letter sent this week by state Superintendent Mike Flanagan warns Pontiac schools the district won’t be able to make its Friday, May 17, payroll.

It’s been almost a week since the tiny Buena Vista school district in Saginaw County abruptly closed its doors.

There is still no plan to get the roughly 400 displaced students into classrooms for the balance of the school year.

Governor Rick Snyder says a financial bailout by the state is very unlikely.

“Well, I hope there’s solutions that could be short of that, and that’s what we’re having discussions on, the community coming together, other districts working with the state, all of us coming together to say, let’s solve this problem.”  

Buena Vista ran out of cash because the state is withholding payments to make up for a grant the district should not have received.

The district’s finances and academic performance were already in poor shape. Buena Vista and Pontiac are both on the state’s “watch” list.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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