Don’t Shut Down Underfunded School District in Michigan

Target: Mike P. Flanagan, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Goal: Allow the underfunded Buena Vista School District to keep its schools open

The public school financial crisis currently threatens the poorest districts across the country, putting thousands of children in underprivileged neighborhoods at risk of losing their schools due to a lack of funding. One such district has just closed the doors of its schools entirely, forcing parents to scramble to enroll their children in nearby districts for the remaining weeks of the school year. Urge Michigan to route funding to Buena Vista School District and keep its schools open.

The schools in Buena Vista have already been closed for nearly a week, with no signs of reopening. Following declining enrollment, the district has run entirely out of money; all teachers have been laid off. Children have been missing valuable class time that they may not get to make up for weeks or even months. Without funding, the district may not reopen at all next fall.

Depriving Buena Vista’s 450 children of an education is not the answer to the district’s financial woes. All children have the right to an education, no matter which neighborhood they are born into. The Michigan Board of Education must allocate funding to Buena Vista to ensure its schools can continue to serve these children, and help them make up lost learning time while the doors remain closed. Urge President John C. Austin to take a stand for these kids today.


Dear Mike P. Flanagan,

The financial crisis in Buena Vista School District is unfortunately not unique in this country. But that doesn’t change the fact that nearly 500 students are wrongfully being deprived of a full school year. Ever since Buena Vista shut the doors of its schools, parents have been scrambling to enroll their children in other districts. Many nearby schools are looking at students at a case-by-case basis. Some won’t accept them this late in the year.

Without prompt action, these kids will be left in the dust—forced to repeat grades, or move to the next one without having received a full year’s worth of education. There’s no reason why Buena Vista’s education should suffer. Teachers in the district have even offered to work for free to ensure students continue to learn through the end of the year, but Michigan law has prohibited them.

If Michigan’s Board of Education cared as much about these children as Buena Vista’s teachers, then the quality of education across the state would be equal. I urge you to take action and allow Buena Vista District schools to remain open next year.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Onderwijsgek via Wikimedia Commons

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