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Muskegon Heights Public School Academy Board fails to come up with corrective action plan

Muskegon Heights Academy
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District still facing staffing shortages and debt while superintendent seat remains vacant.

Confronted with $35 million in debt and a severe staffing shortage this year, the Muskegon Heights’ Public School Academy Board announced this week, that so far, it has yet to come up with a solution.

The elected school board had given itself until October 17th to address the issues that have plagued the district so far this school year, while presenting staff and parents with a corrective action plan moving forward.

The board however, voted Monday evening to extend the self-imposed deadline, after members couldn’t agree on a proper course of action.

Currently, the elected school board is not allowed to run the district on its own since it is millions of dollars in debt—that responsibility has been recently outsourced to New Paradigm for Education, an appointed academy board that operates out of Detroit.

So far this year, several parents, teachers and administrative staff have questioned how New Paradigm can effectively manage the day-to-day logistics from the east side of the state, and whether it truly has the district’s best interests at heart.

WGVU reached out to New Paradigm multiple times for comment, at the time of this report, phone calls were not returned.

State House Legislator Terry Sabo represents Muskegon Heights in Lansing. He says he has contacted the Governor’s office about the issue, but ultimately, it will be up to the elected school board to come up with a plan.

“So, I am watching very closely as to what that local governing board is doing, but, I really step back to a certain degree; because I just think that really, that is their job; their job is to govern, and they will be judged by the people of Muskegon Heights at the polls.”

Meanwhile, the district is still without an acting superintendent, or an acting Interim Superintendent, however the board did approve job description language Monday, and said it will begin the search process soon.

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