Senate Passes Law to Forcibly Dissolve School Districts

imagesCAV8XBNNLast night the Michigan Senate hastily passed those House bills (HB 4813 and 4815) giving the authority to dissolve small school districts to the state under certain criteria: the district must have between 300 and 2,400 students, be in a fiscal crisis that the state deems they are unable to address, and have experienced a 10 percent enrollment drop in the previous school year. The bills go to Gov. Snyder’s desk today to be enacted immediately.

Their big rush is so the Superintendent of Education, Mike Flanagan, can act promptly to dissolve both Buena Vista and Inkster school districts for the upcoming school year.  The Associated Press reports that Senate Republicans rejected amendments that would have given teachers from the dissolved district first crack at jobs in the receiving district, and a provision that the U.S. Justice Department must first approve the Buena Vista closure because the community is covered by the Voting Rights Act.

These kinds of reactionary, myopic laws are bound to generate enormously costly legal battles for the state — likely exceeding the deficit of the shuttered district. Additionally, Michigan will find that these school closures will dominate in communities of color, giving HB 4813 and 4815 a racial component that will spark suits based on the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, just as the Emrgency Manager law has.

Democracy Tree has written several times about the folly of forced mergers.

Amy Kerr Hardin

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2 Responses to Senate Passes Law to Forcibly Dissolve School Districts

  1. Bill Brown says:

    Amy,
    How much more are we going to have to endure before something can be done? And, you know, the worst thing about all the crap coming out of Lansing is that so many folks think it’s just fine. How do you get through to these folks that they are just being sold down the road?
    Distressed in TC

  2. Lois Payette says:

    and, so it continues! Dictator Snyder and his cronies are continuing their attacks on Public Education. Their goal is the privatization of all public entities, from city properties to educational institutions. How much longer will we have to put up with this before the entire state rebels and shows up on the lawn of the Capitol in Lansing? Lawyers, sharpen your pencils and open your law books… this is going to be a long hard fight for our voters rights!

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