Whitmer: Benton Harbor school closure plan is no ‘ultimatum’

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says her administration’s proposal to close Benton Harbor’s high schools was no “ultimatum,” and state and local officials are entering a period in which there will be a lot of negotiation and research after the school board rejected the plan.

The Democrat said Wednesday that “getting it right is the most important thing.” Under the proposal, Benton Harbor high school students would attend school in surrounding districts starting in 2020, while K-8 schools would remain open.

The Treasury Department has warned that the entire district may be dissolved or converted into a charter school system.

Whitmer told The Associated Press the future of the high schools is “unknown” pending more negotiations. She says there must be an “aggressive” plan to combat high debt and poor student performance.

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