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Community concerned about proposal to shut down Benton Harbor High School

NOW: Community concerned about proposal to shut down Benton Harbor High School

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.---On the day where Michigan Treasury and Education officials announced a proposal to shut down Benton Harbor High School, parents and community members are voicing their concerns. The shutdown, which was announced on Friday, would take place in the fall of 2020.

Roosevelt Bell owns Elite Barbershop, less than a mile from the school, he says losing Benton Harbor High School would be devastating for the Benton Harbor community.

“If anything were to happen to this school, it would be very detrimental to our community. It’d be like the downfall of this community,” said Bell.

Officials site the school’s low test scores, graduation rates, and massive debt as its reasoning behind shutting the school down. Bell says these numbers don’t tell the whole story of Benton Harbor High School.

“What the school means to this community goes beyond words,” said Bell.

Benton Harbor’s school board has two weeks to accept the state’s proposal. If the proposal is rejected, the state legislature would take over and might possibly disband the school system all together.

Bell hopes a deal can be reached to keep the school open while also finding consistency to help steady the district affected by years of turmoil.

“Give the school system time to be consistent. Stop continuing to change the authorities that are inside of the schools,” said Bell.

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