Michigan school district that can't pay teachers shuts down for a day

Buena Vista School District says it won't make payroll on May 24 because state has put hold on some funding

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SAGINAW, Mich. - A Michigan school district that says it can't afford to pay its teachers has canceled classes for the day ahead of a planned community meeting.

The Buena Vista School District, located just outside of Saginaw, said in a posting on its website that school is closed on Tuesday and the meeting is Tuesday night.

Buena Vista Education Association President Joe Ann Nash said in a telephone news conference Monday that the district's 27 teachers will work this week in the hopes that the state and the school district can come up with a plan to keep classes in operation.

The district announced last week that it won't be able to make payroll on May 24 because the state has put a hold on some of its funding.

Full statement from the district

Dear Members of the Buena Vista Community:

As you may know, the Buena Vista School District has been struggling with declining enrollment and decreased state and other funding for the past several years. During this time, the Board of Education has done its best to provide a quality education for all students.

Unfortunately, the cost of providing a quality educational program has increased, while we have seen a significant decrease in our revenues. Thus, the District has run a deficit.

Most recently, while presenting our latest draft deficit elimination plan to State of Michigan officials, we advised the State that the District no longer provides teaching personnel to the Wolverine Secure Treatment Center program,
although we continued to receive categorical funds for that program. That report, and the wholly appropriate need for the State to recoup those funds, has triggered a series of events that culminated in confirmation on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, that the District would not receive any state school aid for the months of April, May and June.

Our analysis of the District's cash flow demonstrates to us that, absent an extraordinary situation, we will not be able to make payroll for staff on May 24. We want to bring this information to the attention of all staff and the Buena
Vista community at the earliest opportunity, so that decisions can be made that will impact their households and families. We have worked diligently to attempt to avoid this situation since it first appeared as an immediate possibility to us this week and continue to work with officials at the State of Michigan in an attempt to mitigate this

The District is, therefore, taking the ├▒rst steps toward confirming a financial emergency under Michigan Public Act 436 of 2012, and will continue to Work with State officials and the leadership of the District's bargaining units to provide educational continuity to the children of the Buena Vista School District.

Parents, staff and students will undoubtedly have many questions regarding the situation and what may happen over the coming weeks. We intend to provide updates on the District's website as information becomes available. We also intend to provide common questions and answers to the situation on the District's website.

At this time of financial crisis, it is more important than ever that We as a school community remain calm and Work together to find a solution to the situation. Our continued commitment and focus is to provide our children with the greatest possible educational opportunities that we can.

Again, through this process, our foremost goal is to provide an educationally sound end to the 2012-13 school year and to work to build a foundation from which the 2013-14 school year may begin.

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