Buena Vista, Michigan school district closes doors, has no money despite teachers willing to work for free


Yet somehow they’ll blame the teachers…

The Michigan township of Buena Vista, in the news recently for its racist Township Clerk, is back in the news today with the announcement that the school district has closed its doors over a month before the end of the school year. Why? Turns out the school district had taken $580,000 in state funding for a program for incarcerated youths that it no longer runs. With an outstanding bill of $400,000, the state cut off its funding and it now has no money.

The district’s 27 teachers had agreed to work without pay for a week while the district sorted out its mess but, this morning, the schools were closed:

Students and parents in the Buena Vista School District are waking up to discover that the district has shut its doors.

In financial distress and unable to pay its employees, the Buena Vista School District is closed Tuesday, May 7, a letter on the district website states.

The notice tells parents that a community meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Office, 705 Towerline.

“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 possibility,” the letter reads.

“The District is, therefore, taking the first 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.”

Although the teachers had voted to work without pay for a week, the Michigan Education Association said it was ready to take legal action to force the district to pay the teachers, presumably because they had absolutely nothing to do with the financial emergency the district faces.

This is just a glimpse of things to come, as MEA Executive Director Gretchen Dziadosz says:

Gretchen Dziadosz, executive director of the Michigan Education Association — the state’s largest teachers union, of which the Buena Vista union is an affiliate — said during the conference call that teachers are worried about how they’re going to pay their bills and feed their children.

“We at MEA are fearful this is only the beginning,” Dziadosz said. That’s because a growing number of districts are facing financial struggles, she said.

The Buena Vista district is one of about 50 in the state that are dealing with a deficit.

This will ultimately be somehow blamed on the teachers if the past is a prelude to the future. Demonizing teachers in order to strip them of pay and benefits is the modus operandi of the anti-union, anti-public school zealots in Michigan and across the country. The next stop in the DeVos plan is to privatize as many schools as possible, preferably to for-profit corporations.

Further defunding of schools is still on the docket, too. Today, Teachers Appreciation Day, is the day a House committee meets to decide whether to slash another $770+ million from the School Aid Fund to pay for road repair. Click HERE to see how you can take action.