Snyder Puts The Brakes On Closing Struggling Schools

Feb 24, 2017

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
Credit State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder says the state will wait until May at the earliest to decide whether to close any of the state’s lowest-performing schools. 


Decisions on which schools would be closed were expected in the next couple of weeks.  But, in a statement released by his office, Snyder said more work and more time is needed.  The governor says the state Department of Education and the School Reform Office will work together to develop a strategy.

“The entire team at the School Reform Office has worked diligently to analyze data, visit schools and review potential options, but we need to do more before any final decisions can be made,” Snyder said.  “Any action we take will have long-lasting consequences and we need to take the time to get this right.  That’s why I want our SRO team to work closely with State Superintendent Brian Whiston and the Michigan Department of Education to reach out and coordinate all the latest information with local superintendents and districts."

Governor Snyder acknowledged the prospect of closing schools is difficult on families that need to make plans on where to send their kids.

There are 38 schools on the state’s worst-performing list – most in the city of Detroit.  The Kalamazoo and Saginaw school districts have also filed a lawsuit challenging the school closure law. 

The governor says even if no schools are closed in the end, there has to be some type of state intervention to ensure kids are getting an education.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network. Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org