School officials, state leaders mull tentative deal to keep Benton Harbor High School open

LANSING, Mich. —  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Office released a statement to ABC 57 News regarding a tentative deal to keep Benton Harbor High School open.

Benton Harbor's school board was back in the state capital working on a solution to keep the district open.

This has been a long road and a struggle for the district.

Several weeks ago, community leaders, activists and parents held a press conference in Lansing to appeal the state's drastic plan to shut down the high school or dissolve the district entirely.

They voted that down and have been working since to find a compromise.

After talks today, the compromise deal could keep the district going and the keep the high school open. The school board has yet to agree to the terms set forth by the state.

An overview of the tentative joint plan can be found here.

The statement reads as follows:

“The State of Michigan’s number one concern has been developing a plan that puts students first and improves outcomes for kids in the Benton Harbor District. Today, representatives from the Governor’s Office and the Department of Treasury had a productive meeting with Benton Harbor School Board members regarding a tentative joint plan that requires the district to meet attainable benchmarks and goals to show improvement in academic outcomes among Benton Harbor Area students while stabilizing the finances of the district. The state has identified national experts who have experience turning around school districts that are struggling and we would like to engage in a day of learning alongside the board and community partners. The governor, lieutenant governor, and treasurer have listened to Benton Harbor School Board members, community leaders, students, and parents about their thoughts and ideas and hope to continue working with them to improve outcomes for students in the district.”

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