Benton Harbor Advisory Committee Approves Draft Plan

Apr 13, 2020


Credit Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

A next step has been approved in Benton Harbor on a plan with the state of Michigan to improve student and financial outcomes. The Benton Harbor Community Engagement Advisory Committee approved the draft financial and academic plan in a virtual meeting Monday night.

The Advisory Committee was created to make a plan to overhaul Benton Harbor Area Schools academics and finances. It was created after community outcry against a state plan to close the district’s high school last spring.

The committee approved it’s draft plan at a meeting held virtually due to the pandemic. The Benton Harbor School Board and Michigan Departments of Treasury and Education now have 30 days to amend or approve the plan. 

Joyce Parker is Michigan’s deputy treasurer and the chair of the committee. 

“When we had talked about the academic and financial operating plan it was with the goal of getting the process underway the remainder of this school year in preparation for the upcoming year.”

Parker says the current pandemic may change the work moving forward but they will keep trying to make progress however they can.

The plan includes 22 recommended actions like changes to curriculum, wages and hiring. Demolishing or selling unused buildings. And creating programs for student and faculty safety and restorative justice. 

It can be viewed in full online.