The Lookout

Michigan school district lays off all its teachers

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File photo of school road sign (Thinkstock)

File photo of school road sign (Thinkstock)

The Board of Education in Buena Vista, Mich., has declared a financial emergency. The school district lacks the funds to pay teachers for the rest of the school year, MLive.com reports.

Students from the Buena Vista School District have not attended classes in a week, according to MLive.com. The district laid off all its teachers earlier this week.

The financial problems stem from three months of withheld state aid payments from the Michigan Department of Education. MLive.com reports that "the district took $401,962.51 to educate students from the Wolverine Secure Treatment Center who no longer attend the district."

The district also is suffering from declining enrollment, which has led to a loss in state funding, according to MLive.com

Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer has asked Gov. Rick Snyder to provide emergency funds to the district, according to the Detroit News.

Via The Detroit News:

Snyder said Thursday he hopes to quickly resolve the financial crisis that caused the small Saginaw County system to lay off employees and close its doors. But the rainy day fund won't be used to bailout Buena Vista schools, Snyder said, because "that's not what the rainy day fund is really intended for."

"There's a lot of discussion going on this topic and I hope we have a resolution," he said. "The most important thing is how do we make sure these kids can finish the school year."

The official site for the Buena Vista School District explains that in addition to all teachers (and the vast majority of staff) being laid off, their benefits, including health insurance, have been terminated.

Some teachers have offered to work this week for free. The district's site explains that "Michigan law requires that employers pay employees for work performed. We thank the teaching staff for their dedication, and understand their frustration. However, we must follow the law."

Unable to send their children to school in their home district, parents of affected students are seeking alternatives in a neighboring district so that their children may finish the school year, WNEM.com reports.

Below, commentary from MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

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