Emergency Managers, Michigan — January 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Think Emergency Managers are only for “black” schools & cities? Think again Part 2.


This morning I wrote about Perry schools being threatened with a state takeover, a city in a county with only 0.5% African Americans.

They aren’t the only ones.

Suttons Bay is in the “Pinky” of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The Suttons Bay school district is facing an Emergency Manager, as well.

Superintendent Mike Murray says the district planned to get state funding for 760 students, but fell short by 114 students due to a charter school’s decision to drop out of Suttons Bay’s virtual school.

With this funding shortfall, Murray says he has no choice and will be asking the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians for $400,000. Suttons Bay Schools has been a recipient of funding from the band before, but has never asked for this much.

Mike Murray says, “We’re totally at the mercy of the generosity of the Grand Traverse Band. It is an usually situation to be in and it’s not their fault.”

If they don’t get the funding, the state may send an emergency financial manager to take over. […]

Suttons Bay has already laid off 37 teachers, four secretaries, and the middle school principal. Teachers haven’t had a pay increase for three years.

Suttons Bay is in Leelanau County and has a population of just over 21,000. How many African Americans in Leelanau? Not many. According to the 2010 census: 0.3 percent.

Ironically, it may be another minority group that saves the school district from takover: the local American Indian tribe.

Like I said this morning:

Emergency Managers: they’re not just for black people anymore.