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Buena Vista Schools Could Reopen After Debt Plan Approved

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Students at Saginaw County’s Buena Vista district may soon be back in the classroom after the state approved the district’s plan to bring itself out of debt.

The Michigan Department of Education said in a statement Wednesday that state Superintendent Mike Flanagan has approved the release of state aid funds to the district.

The district hasn’t held class since May because it ran out of money to pay its teachers.

Flanagan’s approval will put an end to any discussion of a “Plan B” that was developed earlier in the week to have Buena Vista students learn in an alternate setting, using federal and at-risk funds. The so-called “Enhancement Skills Camp” would have focused instruction on math, reading, and writing for students.

The district’s deficit elimination plan was approved by the district’s board of education Tuesday night.

“The skills camp always was a back-up plan,” Flanagan said. “Our first priority was to re-open the traditional classroom programs, but if the local school board hadn’t adopted an approvable DEP, we wanted to still find ways to provide instruction to the students.  That back-up plan won’t be needed now.”

Flanagan said he is now encouraging the local school board and administration to reopen the doors as soon as possible.

The state says they will release state aid to Buena Vista on May 20, allowing the district to make payroll on May 24.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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