Despite help from state, Buena Vista School District refuses to pay its teachers Friday

Without warning, the Buena Vista School District did not pay its 28 teachers Friday — despite it being a pay day and despite the state of Michigan’s sending $400,000 to the struggling district to keep it open for the remainder of the school year.

“The teachers in the Buena Vista School District have made numerous sacrifices on behalf of their students, and they deserve to get paid for the work they do so they can feed their families,” MEA Executive Director Gretchen Dziadosz said. “Teachers and their students should not be made to suffer for the school district’s financial mismanagement and Gov. Rick Snyder’s lack of support for public education.”

Friday was a scheduled pay day for the teachers, who haven’t been paid since May 10.

Sick teachers have also been barred by the district from calling substitute teachers, resulting in crowded classrooms.

Students and school employees in the Buena Vista School District are innocent victims of gross financial mismanagement by district and state administrators, as well as Gov. Rick Snyder’s reckless $1 billion in cuts to school funding.

Despite the fact that a state-funded juvenile justice program left the district, the Buena Vista School District continued to receive funding from the state for the program — and spent those state funds. The state decided to punish students and school employees for its and the district’s financial mismanagement, and immediately stopped sending school aid payments for April, May and June to make up for the overpayment.

The district ran out of money as a result. The school district shut down on May 6, and didn’t reopen until May 20.

Buena Vista teachers have made countless sacrifices in recent years. They’ve agreed to freeze their own pay for four years running, and the number of teachers has dropped by more than half since 2009, down to 28.

Media contact: Susan Rutherford, MEA UniServ Director, 989-686-4940