Aug. 16, 2019
State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks, Deputy State Treasurer Joyce Parker, State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and Office of Partnership Districts Director Dr. Bill Pearson today discussed an approach with the Benton Harbor School Board for working together to create a viable and successful K through 12 education system.
The approach engages the whole community by establishing a Community Engagement and Advisory Committee to develop an operating plan for the school district. This committee would consist of representatives from the school board, school district staff, city residents with at least one student enrolled in the school district, business community, Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Department of Treasury.
“Our goal is to work with the community to identify solutions for creating a viable K through 12 education system for Benton Harbor families,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “Both myself and my team are looking forward to working with the school board, community and the Michigan Department of Education to forge a path forward that works for everyone.”
If a resolution is adopted by school board members, Benton Harbor residents can expect the Community Engagement and Advisory Committee to assess and report on the school district’s current academic and financial condition. The committee’s members would engage stakeholders and consider enrollment, academic programs, capital needs and other issues as they work openly and transparently on an operating plan.
The process would be transparent with ample opportunity for community input.
“We are committed to assisting the Department of Treasury and Benton Harbor community in developing financial and academic strategies that will work for the school district’s students and educators,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said.
The Community Engagement and Advisory Committee would provide a report back to the community with recommendations. Upon adoption, the state Treasury Department and Benton Harbor School Board will work together to establish a timeline.
“We hope the school board embraces this opportunity to engage the community to develop a plan to ensure a viable K through 12 system in Benton Harbor,” Eubanks said. “I believe they’re as eager as we are to begin this important work for the community’s children.”
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