State officials hold off on dissolving Inkster, Buena Vista schools

Officials from Inkster Public School District and Buena Vista School District have until 5 p.m. Monday to show they can get loans to keep their schools afloat or face dissolution.

That was the ultimatum given to the districts by State Treasurer Andy Dillon and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan during a public hearing this week.

The hearing focused on whether the two school districts meet the criteria under a new law to be dissolved.

“My determination is that neither school can open the door ... to serve the kids,” said Dillon, Gongwer News Service reported.

Facing tremendous financial problems, the districts have already made efforts to avoid dissolution.

Buena Vista has authorized a charter school operator to represent the district with the idea being The Leona Group will take over the day-to-day operations of the district over the coming weeks.

Inkster officials said they are in discussions with Comerica Bank regarding an $800,000 loan – the reason why state officials gave them more time to make that happen – and have already decided to transition the Inkster high school into a charter school.

While Buena Vista was given the same terms of finding a loan, the Saginaw Intermediate School District superintendent doesn’t believe that’s feasible, according to a report by MLive.

Buena Vista School Board Secretary Rhonda Burton was more upbeat about the possibility.

“We’re going to work really hard in these few days that we have so we can meet the 5 p.m. Monday deadline,” she told MLive.

If neither school district is able to secure a loan by Monday, then Flanagan and Dillon can move forward and approve dissolution. Those steps can be handled by the intermediate school district or the state.