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Department of Education intervenes, says New Paradigm will stay in Muskegon Heights for now

Muskegon Heights Academy

Elected board had fired charter school district two weeks ago

After the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System Board of Directors fired its’ managing firm, New Paradigm for Education, the Michigan Department of Education has facilitated a peace agreement.

Two weeks ago, the school board said that New Paradigm for Educations ‘involvement in the district was “having a detrimental impact on its staff and students, and even more so for those with special needs,” and terminated its contract.

New Paradigm, a charter school board company that operates out of Detroit, had been in charge of running the daily operations in Muskegon Heights; however, the school year so far has been one of the most chaotic in district history.

Since fall, Muskegon Heights Public Schools has operated without a Superintendent, faced an alarming shortage of teachers, substitute teachers, and open staff positions, while protests from parents and students over how things are being run has become common place at school board meetings.

The elected school board’s decision to fire New Paradigm had been intended to send a message to community stakeholders that the district was at least trying to turn things around.

However, the Michigan Department of Education has now intervened, and says the district finish out the school year with New Paradigm.

In a statement, State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice writes, “To assure that students are able to finish out the school year and teachers and all other staff members are still employed, the New Paradigm for Education management organization will remain the provider of most education services through the remainder of the current school year.”

Both sides have agreed to the decision, provided that Muskegon Heights Public Schools settles unpaid fees it owes New Paradigm by March 1st.

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