Town Hall Tonight On State Of Michigan Plan To Close Benton Harbor High School

Jun 4, 2019

Benton Harbor High School
Credit Justin Hicks/WVPE

Tonight a town hall style meeting is planned at Benton Harbor High School regarding the state of Michigan's plan to suspend operations at the high school. 

The meeting will be in the high school's student commons starting at 6pm. School officials have invited Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to attend the meeting. 

In late May, the Michigan Dept. of Treasury announced a plan to close Benton Harbor High School in the fall of 2020 and to send students elsewhere in the corner of southwestern Michigan.

At the time, State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said, "Sitting back and doing nothing is not an option."

The state says the Benton Harbor district has more than $16 million in debt and students aren't performing well. Only 3 percent of third-graders could read at grade level in 2018, and no high school juniors were considered ready for college in the past five years.

The state says the school district will be shut down or turned into a charter school system if the Benton Harbor school board doesn't approve the plan.

WVPE's Jennifer Weingart will be at tonight's meeting and have coverage.