Whitmer: Benton Harbor school board vote is a ‘setback’

Southwest Michigan
Benton Harbor High School

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

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the Benton Harbor school board’s surprise decision to reject a tentative plan to potentially avoid the closure of the district’s main high school is a “setback.”

Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said Wednesday that board members have sent a “troubling signal” to parents that they are “unwilling to negotiate in good faith” to address the district’s academic and financial challenges.

Whitmer had expected the board to approve a resolution Tuesday calling for it to work with the state on the proposed deal. Board members could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

State officials have warned that the entire district might be dissolved.

A previous “cooperative” agreement between the state and Benton Habor ended Sunday due to the repeal of a section of Michigan law.

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