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Michigan district gets more time to avoid school shutdown

June 6, 2019
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a town hall meeting, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at Brotherhood of All Nations COGIC in Benton Harbor, Mich., to discuss the proposed closing of Benton Harbor High School. Because of school district debt and poor student performance, Whitmer's administration is proposing to close Benton Harbor High School in fall 2020 and send students elsewhere. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is giving a southwestern Michigan school board a little more time to develop a plan to keep the district’s high school open.

The Democrat said Wednesday after a public meeting in Benton Harbor that she’ll look at a “viable alternative” if one is presented. The deadline had been Friday, but Whitmer says she’s giving officials another week.

The Whitmer administration, citing the district’s poor finances and weak academic performance, has said it wants the board to close the high school as part of a broader plan to improve local K-8 education. If not, the district could be shut down.

The board has accused state officials of wanting to take money out of Benton Harbor to benefit nearby white communities. Mayor Marcus Muhammad says a protest is planned Tuesday in Lansing. He says on Facebook that he’s David “looking for Goliath.”

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