Law being proposed could dissolve Michigan district and others struggling

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Pontiac school district could be dissolved and students distributed to other districts under legislation being worked on this week in the House of Representatives Education Committee in Lansing.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, planned to start work again at 10:30 a.m. today on two bills for the procedures for dissolution of a school district that is in dire financial situation and unable to operate for a full year. Pontiac, Buena Vista and Inkster districts are among those being mentioned. However, there are 55 districts in Michigan that are in deficit.

At the same time, Gov. Rick Snyder is in the process of appointing a review team to examine Pontiac school district's finances and determine if the district is in a financial emergency. If so, the Pontiac Board would have the option of an emergency manager, bankruptcy and consent agreement — under current law.

Under the House proposals under discussion, the districts to which the children are transferred would not receive the debt, nor would low test scores travel with the children to their welcoming districts. That new districts would have three years to bring the grades up before they would be averaged into the districts' test scores.

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