West Michigan’s Muskegon School District Seeking Ways to Cut Costs

Filed in Gather News Channel by on February 12, 2012 0 Comments

Almost everyone is feeling the crunch of a sluggish economy. Many public and private schools as well as colleges and universities are having to reach deep and make tough decisions to meet financial obligations.

The Muskegon Public School District administrators released a statement concerning their plans to try and cut the district’s budget. One thought is to close both Bluffton and McClaughlin Elementary Schools, and convert Steele and Bunker Middle Schools into K-8 buildings.

In accessing the plan, all changes have their drawbacks. Because both Moon and Nelson Elementary schools are just a few miles from McClaughlin, closing it seems to be the most feasible of options. Nonetheless, likely administrators, teachers and support staff may lose their jobs because of this decision, a major drawback.

Closing Bluffton may also seem somewhat painless; however, a number of years ago the district closed Glenside Elementary forcing those students to attend either Nims or Bluffton. Now, if Bluffton is closed, will Nims face overcrowding?

Lastly, the district is looking at making the two current middle schools K-8 buildings—meaning kids as young as age 5 will go to school with kids as old as 12 or 13. This may be very convenient for parents with kids of multi-ages; nevertheless, there are other concerns. Specifically, the safety of younger children with older kids is in question. Additionally, middle schoolers in this environment may mature more slowly making them ill-prepared for high school.

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