Board rejects Michigan’s plan to save Benton Harbor schools

Southwest Michigan
Benton Harbor High School

A June 27, 2019 photo shows Benton Harbor High School.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Benton Harbor school board has rejected a tentative agreement that would have staved off the closing of the city’s high school.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the five-member board unanimously rejected a resolution calling for it to work with the state of Michigan on the proposed deal.

Board president Stephen Mitchell said school officials want to work with the state, but need to have “trust and collaboration” before a deal is made.

Board members said they were angry with state officials for saying a proposed deal with them had been reached. Board members say there is no tentative agreement.

State officials said the deal called for the school district to improve the academic performance of its 1,800 students and simultaneously reduce its $18 million debt.

Board member Patricia Rush said Benton Harbor would never agree to a deal that includes the high school’s closing.

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