Work by the Benton Harbor Area School Board to produce a viable alternative to the Governor’s proposed shutdown of Benton Harbor High School has not gone unnoticed by the state’s top executive. In fact, she has dispatched a letter to the community’s Board of Education saying she and her team are “carefully reviewing the documents submitted by the district and considering next steps.”
After the Benton Harbor School Board voted not to accept Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to develop a K-8 district in the community and suspend operations at the high school until some of the outstanding debt can be resolved and academic achievements escalated, she has responded to the board in a three paragraph letter dated today, Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
Here is what she has to say:
Dear School Board Members, Thank you for meeting with my team and other state officials this last Wednesday, June 12, 2019. I am in receipt of your letter dated the same day, as well as your correspondence from this past Friday, June 14, 2019 and accompanying documents. Based on this most recent communication, I understand the Board voted not to accept the state’s proposal to address the district’s financial and academic challenges. I believe the state’s proposal has merit, and if implemented in partnership with the Board, would ultimately improve educational outcomes for students and benefit the whole community.
That said, I think we all know that doing nothing is not an option for the children of Benton Harbor. As we move forward, we must focus our efforts on finding a solution that is attainable and puts students and families first. Given substantial efforts by the Board to begin crafting a plan, I look forward to working in partnership toward a solution that includes clear benchmarks, accountability, and more serious measures if these benchmarks are not satisfied.
Please know that my team and I are carefully reviewing the documents submitted by the district and considering next steps. We will be in touch by the end of this week to schedule our next meeting.
Gretchen Whitmer, Governor
Here is a link to the actual letter sent by the Governor today: